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.

The TED Talk Contribution to Major Gifts

If you have ever experienced a TED Talk, you know that every single speaker consistently presents a topic in a fascinating and engaging way. A friend of mine recently told me that he had wondered why each presentation was so good. So he researched the subject and discovered that TED Talk organizers actually have specific guidelines for each of their speakers...

Tips on Selling Anything in Major Gift Fundraising

The point is that in major gifts, the successful major gifts officer (MGO) needs to identify the interests and passions of the donor, then present a program to that donor that matches those interests and passions. Done correctly, these activities eventually cause an economic transaction...

A Simple, But Powerful ‘Thank You’ Can Make a Big Impact

Jeff and I have talked quite a bit about “taking the donor to the scene,” the phrase that describes using words and pictures to help the donor understand, feel and “see” the need. The same thing is true on the backside of giving—the stewardship side. If you can show the donor what his or her giving has done, through a picture and a story, it can have a tremendous impact...

The Effects of Skepticism on Major Gifts Fundraising

It used to be that the average charity would have to simply ask and the donor would simply give, with no questions asked. All of that has changed. And this change has not dawned on many nonprofits or major gift fundraisers. This can be a major block to success for a major gift officer...

Conflicting Agendas Kill Major Gift Programs

It is always amazing to me how smart, responsible adults can kill or at least smother a very good thing. I’m talking about the case at a southern university, which has 15 colleges and one major gift officer assigned to each college...

The Case of the Bloated Caseload

My question for you is this: What is the size of your caseload? If it’s above 150, it’s way to high. So, take steps to trim it down. It may feel counterintuitive, but if you focus on fewer good donors and go deep with them your result will be much better on several levels—relationally for the donor and for you and economically for the organization...

Alienate Your Major Donor and You'll Lose Money

The CEO sought advice from her board members and business advisors on a critical organizational decision she needed to make, got the advice then promptly ignored it and did what she wanted. This always amazes me...

What Do You Control in Major Gifts?

There’s quite a bit of noise out there in the major gift world on management—what next step to take, how to approach the donor, how to frame the ask, etc. And still, with all of that information, Jeff and I find hundreds of major gift officers frustrated in their jobs...

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...