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The McConkey-Johnston International Archives
Decades of experience helping nonprofit organizations have resulted in dozens of articles designed to help you understand and apply principles that can help you achieve success.




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Articles are provided in PDF format. Clicking on the titles will download the file to your computer. You will need Adobe® Reader® to open the files which may then be read or printed for reference.


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Minding Our Mindsets
Larry Johnston waxes philosophical -- in a most practical way! In this article Larry provides strong insights and evidence why and how paradigms influence not only our mindsets but also our behaviors. Valuable and practical for those who want a better understanding of donors!


Before You Pull the Trigger: Why Good Aim Helps in Software Selection
Calling on her decades of experience with software issues for nonprofits, Sally Funk helps you wade through the organizational issues that can help -- or hinder -- choosing the right donor software for your organization.


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Why I Still Love Direct Mail
In a world marked by marketing and media over-saturation, Barry McLeish demonstrates why “new media” aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. This essay lauds the use of good old fashioned direct mail for donor communication and solicitation.



Fund Raising / Development

  • Fundamentals for Field Reps... Larry Johnston has trained more field reps and major donor departments than you can imagine! In Practical Tips For Field Reps Larry provides some of the best tips for deploying a field team that can make a significant difference for your organization -- and for your major donors.
  • The Call of the Cosmograph... In The Call of the Cosmograph Larry Johnston demonstrates how a simple tool demonstrates the reality of the Principle of the Critical Few -- and shapes your development priorities!
  • Managing Donor Values... Where is resource development headed? In this new age of nonprofit marketing, Larry Johnston explains why Donor Value Management® is the new paradigm for development practitioners. Donor Value Management is as much science as it is art -- understanding the values of your stake-holders is the key to engaging them in EVERY aspect of your work.
  • Mapping Donor Values... Larry Johnston's doctoral research surfaced surprising information about how major donors make their giving decisions. Larry discusses his research in Donor Value Mapping® a revolutionary approach to relationship development.
  • Major Donor Relationships... In this MUST READ article, Selling Values to Major Donors... , M/J VP Barry McLeish provides a concise outline to help you understand and deliver value in your relationships with major donors.
  • GREAT Development Teams... One of the primary tasks of the development manager is to create a solid team that will be successful in meeting the needs of his/her organization AND its donors. Jan Urbec shares the top 10 characteristics of What Makes Development Teams GREAT.
  • Software Conversion... After helping with more donor software conversions than most people would endure, Sally Funk has gained valuable insights that can make this daunting process almost tolerable! In Failing Gloriously! she points out keys to success that will help you at all stages of the conversion process.

Management & Leadership

  • Is It All Routine? How and why do routines and processes make a difference in a growing organization? Managing those routines, and the people responsible for them, is the challenge that change agents must consider when shaping a ministry for growth. M/J consultant Bruce Cole examines the role that routines play in nonprofit organizations, both for “good and for evil” in this article, Generative or Geriatric?
  • Time to Revisit The “Vision Thing?” What’s happened to the “vision thing?” Was it a “flash and ash” fad -- or is there real substance to the need for compelling vision -- especially within ministry organizations? In his article Revisiting Vision Larry Johnston examines the issue of vision and the significant role it plays in motivating ministries, their employees and their donors to achieve great things for the Kingdom.
  • Tensions between Development and Accounting? It’s a common problem in nonprofits -- dealing with the tension between those who raise money and those who control the purse strings. In Tips to Avoid Trouble: Bridging the Divide between Accounting and Development , Margaret Winn shows how when we forget that we’re on the same side, we can end up in trouble. Margaret is one who knows -- she’s a CPA who served as a development director!
  • If You Want to Manage It, Measure It! Larry Johnston examines the advantages experienced by measurement managed companies in this new article, If You Want to Manage It, Measure It. One of them: If it gets measured, it gets done!
  • Heeding the Call for Change... When and why is it necessary to consider significant changes to your ministry? What should be your criteria for change -- and how should you proceed? Bruce Cole provides helpful guidelines in this article, Heeding the Call for Change
  • Proven Principles for Change Leaders... So great is the pace of change that management guru Tom Peters says to “eradicate ‘change’ from your vocabulary.” In its place, he encourages us to substitute ‘revolution.’ In Proven Principles for Change Leaders... M/J president Larry Johnston looks at some pervasive myths regarding change, then some helpful principles for those charged with the tasks of leading and/or managing change within your organization.
  • The Need to Aim Higher... Larry Johnston offers a perspective on why organizations must aim higher simply to prevent donor defections, let alone succeed in creating “donor delight.” Want to prosper in our volatile age? Be sure to read about The Need to Aim Higher in this great article!
  • Visionary Leaders... Want to transform your organization? In this must-read article, Visionary Leaders ... M/J president Larry Johnston examines the marks that distinguish Visionary Leaders from the pack.
  • 10 Commandments for Good Organization... The "laws" that govern nonprofits are well worth learning -- and obeying. In this article, Larry Johnston identifies Ten Commandments for Good Organization.
  • The Empowered Leader... The Empowered Leader is an article in which Larry Johnston identifies the keys for achieving "transformational leadership." This is must-read material!
  • How to Write a Vision-Based Plan... Where should you begin? In How to Write a Vision Based Plan, Larry Johnston provides you the know-how...you must provide the manpower, the time, and the will!
  • Dealing with Change... Approaching change with fear and trepidation? That’s better than not approaching it at all! In If You Don’t Like Change You’ll Like Extinction Even Less Barry McLeish examines the factors that affect change efforts and how they combine to create successful approaches to necessary change.

Market Reasearch
  • Market Research: Friend or Foe for Christian Charities? Redina Kolaneci is M/J’s UK operative -- and she’s making waves in other countries as well by bringing solid, donor-focused approaches to fundraising and marketing. In Market Research: Friend or Foe for Christian Charities? she examines the rationale and simple methodology for using market research to help guide strategy to success.