Richard Perry

Richard Perry

If you’re hanging with Richard it won’t be long before you’ll be laughing.

He always finds something funny in everything. But when the conversation is about people, their money and giving, you’ll find a deeply caring counselor who helps donors fulfill their passions and interests. Richard believes that successful major-gift fundraising is not fundamentally about securing revenue for good causes. Instead it is about helping donors express who they are through their giving. The Connections blog will provide practical information on how to do this successfully. Richard has more than 30 years of nonprofit leadership and fundraising experience, and is founding partner of the Veritus Group.

Your Beliefs Drive Your Major-Gift Actions

I have a friend who jokingly says to me: “Richard, do you believe what you believe?” And I laugh and respond that I do. But then, as I have been thinking about it, I really don’t believe everything I believe. I think I believe some things, but when I put them in the light of day, those beliefs are either outdated or just plain wrong...

Focus on Overhead (It'll Lower Investments in Major-Gift Fundraising)

This will be the year when a solid group of enlightened nonprofit organizations jump fully into the overhead discussion that is rapidly gaining traction among leaders in this sector. My question for you is this: Are you ready to handle the questions, concerns and yes, heated discussions you might get into with a donor on your caseload regarding this subject?...

Benefits of a Major-Gifts System

Let me assure you, no matter how much success you have had with your “free-flow” approach, you would have had double the success had you been working with a system that harnessed that energy and directed it towards high-value activity—believe me...

How You Can Cause Deep Gladness in Your Donor

I suppose all of us are trying to make deep gladness happen in our lives in some way or another. I know I am. I have discovered there is direct correlation between my happiness and serving others. It goes up when I am giving myself away. It goes down when I am focused on me. It’s counterintuitive, I know. But it’s true...

Use of 'Ask' Versus 'Results' Language in Major Gifts

All of us in major gifts know that there are different stages in the major-gift process. Many brilliant major-gift people have written about it. Words like identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship come to mind as descriptors of some big stages or phases of major gifts...

Donor Relationships: More Than ‘Yes’ or ‘No’

When you fully embrace what I am talking about, you learn to focus on relationship and conversations versus getting distracted by the “yes” and “no.” You learn to take your time and nurture things along, to really value the donor and to really listen and care.

How to Turn a Donor Into a Stranger

More donors than you know are feeling that they have become strangers, only valued for what they can give. When my business partner Jeff sent me this letter, I took a little trip in my mind. I went to this lady’s home and sat beside her as she was writing. It was a very sad experience. Take a moment to read what she wrote. I have faithfully reproduced it here with slight edits for clarity...

How Events Hurt Major Gifts—And What to Do About It

What is it about nonprofit boards, leaders and staff who so easily catch events fever and lose their way on thinking objectively about this topic? If that sounds familiar—if hardly any argument or reasoning will dissuade your leaders from organizing an event—then make the best of it by doing the following...

Can't Afford a Major Gift Program?

I was in a meeting once with the top finance people and management of a leading national charity, and I just could not get them to see that they were losing money—that the donors at the top of their donor pyramid were giving up to 40 percent less than those same donors gave the year before...

Why the Wealthy Don't Give More

Several years ago, a news piece on a poll by U.S. Trust and Phoenix Marketing gave us interesting insights into the giving of the wealthy and clues on how to unlock their giving to your organization. Those findings are still true today. But let's add to the list of reasons the wealthy don't give more...

Major Gifts: A Journey, Not an Event

Major gifts is not about the money. It's about the journey with the donor. It is finding out what the donor has an interest and passion for, and then partnering with him or her to fulfill that interest. It is the only way to go. There are four elements of every journey that apply to your major gifts efforts. Every MGO who is or will be successful will pay attention to how they treat each donor on the caseload in each of areas...

Are You Communicating Compelling Need? 4 Questions to Ask

Here's the problem in most major-gift fundraising. We want the donor to give, and we spend a lot of time figuring out how to motivate his or her giving. But we don’t spend enough time describing the need. And when we do describe it, it is not compelling. When you look at the presentation you are currently working on for your donor, ask yourself these four questions...

Why Major Gift Officers Shouldn't Prospect

The subject of major gift prospecting always causes a bit of controversy anytime Jeff and I talk about it. I suppose that the reason so many pro-prospecting people get mad at us for taking a no-prospect stand is that they truly believe the illusion that “there is just someone out there that we don’t yet…

'What Good Does a Major Gift Officer Do?'

If you find yourself in the discussion of new money or “what have you done for me lately, major gift officer,” then, hopefully, the content of this post will be helpful to you. If nothing else, I hope it will serve as a reminder to seriously value the good donors who are currently in your care. They are good people who have made a commitment to you. They deserve your careful attention, respect and love. Let me explain...

How to Sell a Business on Your Cause

We were sitting in a room discussing how to approach various businesses and corporations in the community. The director of development and several major gift officers (MGOs) were having quite a debate about the subject with the prevailing argument being that we needed to lead with a compelling need the business would be interested in...