10 Reasons Why Most Major-Gift Programs Suck — Nos. 6 & 7
Have you heard of the nightmare story of the major-gift officer who was cultivating one of his caseload donors for a $1 million gift to help put a new wing on a hospital? The MGO was working this gift hard. Sending all kinds of information about the new wing, naming opportunities, etc. After about six months of this type of cultivation, the MGO sets up a lunch meeting with this particular donor to make the “ask” with the CEO of the hospital.
They sit down together at lunch and the CEO starts talking about the new wing of the hospital, how great it’s going to be, how many more seniors will be helped because of it, etc. Then, the ask …
The donor looks at the MGO and CEO and says, “Guys, this is a great project, but you should know that I’m about helping children. That is what my wife and I want to give to. You both should know this.”
After lunch on the way back to the hospital the CEO is furious and barks at the major-gift officer, “How did YOU get this wrong?”
I’ll tell you how he got it wrong. He didn’t pay attention. The MGO felt so much pressure to find donors who had the ability to fund the new wing, that it clouded his thinking about who would actually have the passion for it.
Ability to fund and passion to fund are two very different things
Sure enough, when he gets back in the office and looks up the donor’s giving history, all of the donor’s previous gifts were directed toward children. And, if he had done a little more homework, he would have noticed that the donor and his wife had eight children of their own, two of which had special needs and had used the services of the hospital for care.
If you like baseball, tennis, golf, Gregorian chant, jazz, rock, good wine and deep conversation, then you’ll like to hang out with Jeff.
If you are passionate about fundraising, Jeff will inspire you to be a true “broker of love” for your donors, helping you bring together a donor’s desire to change the world and the world’s greatest needs. Jeff believes that if nonprofits truly want to grow and obtain more net revenue for their mission, it will come through creating, building and successfully managing major-gift programs. The Connections blog will give you inspiration and practical advice to help you succeed. Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit fundraising experience and is senior partner of the Veritus Group.