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.

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...

Donor Asks, 'Do You Miss Me?'

The donor made a $5,000 pledge, payable at $100 a month. She stopped giving, and the organization said nothing! This is an amazing story of ignorance and neglect. Ignorance in that a good fundraiser should know better. Neglect in that this good donor seriously was abused in this relationship...

Messaging: Which Works Best—the Head or the Heart?

It’s a funny and, sometimes, very uncomfortable thing. I am talking about feeling and expressing emotion. On one side, there are people who are in a constant state of tears and drama, and, on the other side, there are those who find it very difficult to express any kind of emotion. You’ve seen both types of people, and you know what it all means...

In Major Gifts, Is It OK to Ask Again When Thanking?

There is a friendly debate going on between a major gift officer, with a great deal of experience, and me. The subject is about the use of receipt returns in major gifts—that tiny, tear-off "coupon" that is attached to the official receipt that goes to a donor...

Relationships or Numbers: Which Do You Care About?

"All you care about are the numbers! Relationships really don’t matter to you!" or "All you care about are relationships. We do need to secure our budgeted revenue, you know? The numbers do matter!" These two statements—these two positions—came into sharp focus for me when a good friend and colleague told me he had been part of a discussion about how some folks just care about the numbers and others just care about relationships. Hmm. Interesting, I thought. At least there’s a discussion about this important subject...