10 Reasons Why Most Major-Gift Programs Suck!
(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!" He's only up to No. 5, so we're going to try to play catch-up. Here's No. 1. Check out the blog for the next four. Then we'll share the next five as he does.)
Over the years, we here at Veritus Group have audited more than a hundred different major-gift programs. Almost all of them suck. "Do you really have to use that language, Jeff?" Yes, yes I do. It’s not that these programs are bad or they need a little tweak here and there; it’s that they are just plain awful. So, the word, “sucks” really fits.
I’ve come up with 10 reasons why this is the case. Now, there are more than 10, and over the course of time I’m sure we’ll get into them all. But, to be pithy and to get people to read my blog, I’m coming up with 10.
OK, I’m going to start with No. 1. Yeah, I know everyone does this countdown thing, but I’m not David Letterman and all of these “reasons” carry the same weight so just hang in there with me.
1. Development directors review the WRONG criteria for success
When we ask a development director how he thinks his program is performing, we usually get an answer like this: “Well, four out of our six major-gift officers made their goals this year. It’s not perfect, but I think we’re doing pretty well.”
Then we ask this: “What is your caseload attrition rate, and what is the value attrition year to year?”
Blank stares, sweat starting to bead up on brow, face turning red …
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.