Getting to the Heart of Major-Gifts Giving
Wait a second. Gratitude? Yes …
“I remember opening the mail and reading the brief comments from donors on the reply device about how overjoyed they were to help. I’ll never forget looking down at the squiggly handwriting on a $5 check from an elderly woman who wrote in the memo section: ‘So happy I could give this to you …’ I thought about the time it must have taken her to open my letter and read what I’d written, and then to get her checkbook, write out the check and that brief note to me, and make sure the gift was sent.
“At the age of 23, I don’t think I fully grasped the wondrously mystical connection I’d made with our donors, whose support went far beyond the money they gave. As I’ve grown more experienced and reflect back, I know that was precisely where I learned that fundraising isn’t really about the money at all. It’s really about an exchange of work and value. And, it’s about love.”
Love? Seriously? Why would someone get all mushy about this? Because when donors decide to give you even a small amount, what they are really doing is passing on to you the results of their hard work in exchange for the opportunity to make the world a better place. That’s shorthand for love in our book.
Whatever great things their gifts help you achieve, your donors give you some of the money that puts food on their tables, pays their bills, lets them take vacations, buys Christmas presents, sends their children to college or helps care for their aging parents. They are handing over a part of themselves and trusting that you will use it for good.
At the moment you receive a donor’s gift, something mystical happens. Don’t overlook that. No doubt there is a lot of pressure on you simply to get the money. Pressure comes from all sides: Your boss is pushing you. Your colleagues are pressing you with their monthly goals. There’s pressure from the board. It would be easy to just go after the dollars and go home.
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.
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.