Jeff Schreifels

Jeff Schreifels

If you like baseball, tennis, golf, Gregorian chant, jazz, rock, good wine and deep conversation, then you’ll like to hang out with Jeff. 

If you are passionate about fundraising, Jeff will inspire you to be a true “broker of love” for your donors, helping you bring together a donor’s desire to change the world and the world’s greatest needs. Jeff believes that if nonprofits truly want to grow and obtain more net revenue for their mission, it will come through creating, building and successfully managing major-gift programs. The Connections blog will give you inspiration and practical advice to help you succeed. Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit fundraising experience and is senior partner of the Veritus Group.

Be a Major Gift Officer and Have a Life

The demands of a major gift officer are enormous. I don’t have to spell them all out to you, because you live it. The same can be said for a development director at a small nonprofit who has to be “everything” fundraising at your nonprofit...

What Happens When Your Major Gift Officer Leaves?

Recently, one of our client managers for Veritus told me a story about one of our clients she is working with. When I heard this story, I was not shocked. Richard and I hear this kind of stuff all the time. This happens with major donors, because many nonprofits clearly have no structure in place for their major gift program...

Is Your Organization Doing What Is Best for the Donor… or the Organization?

It’s amazing to Richard and me how nonprofits—that do such great things with the programs and projects they have making the world a better place—have a total disregard for their major donors. One example of this was a story I heard from someone who quit her position as an major gift officer several years ago...

Don’t Expect a Gift From Your Board Member

You have most certainly experienced the fear of a board member whose term is coming up, and they are one of your best donors. You’re thinking, “How do I get them to continue their giving?” Richard and I would say that is the wrong way to think about this...

Going Solo Spells Disaster

You’ve heard of the term, “solo player.” It refers most often in a sales environment to someone who does everything alone and won’t include others in the work. In most cases they are not very successful. In fact, we see a tremendous amount of burnout from this type of MGO...

Who Else Is On Board?

Any major gift officer who has been working for a few years has heard this phrase uttered by one of their donors, “Well, who else is going to fund this project? I don’t want to be the only one to invest in it...

Avoid Managing (or Being) This Type of MGO

We’ve been working with major gift officers for quite a long time. I think Richard and I, along with our associates, have seen just about every type of personality, work ethic and passion, or lack of, in the MGOs we have managed...

You Need to Make Mistakes

Making a mistake is one of the best things you can do. Did I just say that? Yes. And, I mean it. I’ve talked many times about how we all need to own up to our mistakes and that donors will appreciate it when you do. Today, I want to urge you not to be afraid to make mistakes...

When Should You Hire a MGO?

You want to develop a major gift program for your nonprofit, but you’re not sure you have enough donors to warrant hiring a major gift officer. Or you are growing your major gift program, and you’re wondering when it makes sense to hire another MGO to add to your team...

Do You Want to Be an Awesome MGO?

When people ask you what you do for a living, how do you talk about it? When you are finished telling the person what you do and why, are they thinking: “Wow, this person really loves their job,” or “Hmm… I’m glad I’m not doing what they are doing...

What Do You Control?

I once worked with a major gift officer, Janet (not her real name) who was so grounded as a person, nothing seemed to rattle her. Janet was incredibly gifted at developing relationships, staying focused and doing all the “little things” right...

It’s Time to Let Those Donors Go

Letting go… It’s not always easy, is it? Anyone who has had to take their child to college or end a relationship knows saying goodbye is never easy. It’s also not easy for you as a major gift officer (MGO) when a donor, who you have been stewarding and cultivating over time, no longer meets the criteria as a major donor...

Don’t Read This If You’re Looking for a Shortcut in Major Gifts

We believe that being a major gift officer is the hardest fundraising job in the industry. It’s incredibly hard. You have to not only develop relationships with donors, but with every one of your colleagues to help you inspire and solicit donors with your organization’s great projects...

A Day in the Life of a Great MGO

Over the years, we have worked with hundreds of major-gift officers. Some are good, some are not so good and some are extraordinary. We’re working with a number of extraordinary ones right now. The other day, I asked one of these great MGOs to tell me what a typical day looks like, so I could share it with you to give you an idea of how an extraordinary MGO goes about her day...

Work/Life Balance: You Can’t Do it All

In a recent survey we sent out, it was amazing how many responses we received that lamented on how you don’t have enough time to do all the work required of you and how stressed out that makes you. You talked about how there is so much pressure on you and you are pulled in so many directions that you don’t have time to actually cultivate and steward your donors...