10 Reasons Why Most Major-Gift Programs (Stink)! — Nos. 8-10
(Editor's note: Veritus Group co-owner Jeff Schreifels started the Passionate Giving blog last month, and he's already posted some pretty interesting stuff — like his "10 Reasons Why Most Major Gift Programs Suck!" Here are Nos. 8-10. Click these links for Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.)
Reason #8 — Most nonprofits are NOT donor-centered
I don't think there are two words that are spoken more often in our industry than "donor-centered." Or is that just one big word? Doesn't matter, you hear it all the time. I hear it at every conference, in a ton of articles, blogs, etc.
In fact, I think we talk about it so much that it's lost its meaning … its power and its punch. Are you sick to death of hearing about it? I know I am.
But, let me tell you something, the reason we keep hearing about it is because most nonprofits don't understand it and they most certainly don't practice it. It's not part of their DNA or mission. When was the last time you read a mission statement from a nonprofit that had anything to do with donors?
Folks, it's time we move from viewing donors as a means to get our "mission" done to realizing that they are part of our mission. I believe that when we see an organization really grasp the meaning of being truly donor-centered, the major-gift program will grow exponentially.
So, what do I mean by this? Everyone who is employed by or volunteers for the nonprofit is indoctrinated (yes, I would use that strong a word) to understand that donors are central to the mission and are treated just as importantly as your programs, projects and services. And I mean from the janitor all the way to the chair of the board. This means the culture of the organization has to completely change because I haven't seen a nonprofit yet that totally understands this.
Jeff Schreifels is the principal owner of Veritus Group — an agency that partners with nonprofits to create, build and manage mid-level fundraising, major gifts and planned giving programs. In his 32-plus year career, Jeff has worked with hundreds of nonprofits, helping to raise more than $400 million in revenue.