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.

When Someone Says, ‘I Know All This Stuff!’

It was time to trot out my PowerPoint presentation and go through all the points of what we did as a company, the results we secured and how we did it. I was invited into the office of the president of a very prestigious eastern nonprofit. The purpose of the meeting was to explain what…

4 Approaches to Changing a Boring Message

So, you think you have something interesting to say to your donor. And you send it out. But all you get back is silence. In fact, it is so silent, it is deafening. Here’s why this is happening...

Sheer Joy Increases Giving

Paul and Rebecca (not their real names) started giving to this social service organization in the early 90s. They were a conservative couple from an average neighborhood, but they wanted to do good in their community, so their first gift was $50 to a direct mail acquisition campaign...

Why Isn’t an MGO’s Office Hours 8 to 5?

One common problem managers have with major gift officers is how to manage their time. Or maybe I should say how not to manage their time. Some managers believe that the eight-to-five rule for employees actually applies to MGOs...

Out-of-Control Major Gift Events Program

Tell me what you think is wrong with this picture: There is a major gift officer (MGO) who has a caseload, and he is also charged with doing events for the organization. He has three staff members who work with him on this agenda...

It's Time to Listen to Your Donors

I was reminded about this important topic when I had a chance meeting with the wife of a friend who, when we met, launched into a five-minute tirade on how she and her husband are mistreated by the major gift officers from their favorite charities...

What Rights Do Your Donors Have?

You know how it feels to be treated shabbily. You buy something, there’s a problem and you might as well be a pile of sawdust when you try to get someone to help you solve the problem. It feels terrible. And you would never treat anyone that way yourself...

The Conflict Between Caseload Management and Prospecting

If I gave you $1 million, but told you I needed to control the investment and after one full year, the investment became $520,000—then at the end of the second year, the investment became $330,000—you would think I was either the worst financial advisor or just plain crazy...

Escaping the Grip of Callousness

I want to talk about how callousness reduces us to mere cogs in a fundraising machine vs. the caring individuals we want and need to be. And then I want to share with you how to deal with this very common dynamic in the life of a MGO...

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...