Getting to the Heart of Major-Gifts Giving
It’s at these moments that you need to pause and reflect. You have a relationship with these donors. They’ve worked hard for what they’ve earned, and they happen to believe in your mission. You have a responsibility to love them like they love you.
So what does that look like in the real world? Here’s what it doesn’t look like: You come to work lifeless. Every employee around you has that look in his or her eyes — boredom, purposelessness, fatalism. “What am I doing here?” you ask yourself.
Good question. What are you doing? If you’re an organizational leader or manager and you see this zombie-like state among your colleagues — and in yourself — there’s great cause for concern.
If you’re surrounded by people who seem proud that they’re “in control of their emotions” or that they “never cry or express feelings,” you might want to run for the door. Lack of passion in an organization, and especially in a major-gifts
program, can be deadly.
Key signs your organization lacks passion
- Leaders aren’t really excited about what the organization does. In fact, not many employees are either. People are there more for the money than the cause.
- There’s no clear purpose.
- No one talks about the people who benefit from the organization’s work. Instead, they talk about themselves.
- Managers and leaders are more focused on process than on doing good.
- There’s no overarching vision for the organization.
- There is a noticeable sense of ambiguity and an absence of flexibility. Everything is in a nice, little box and very predictable. Out-of-the-box thinking is discouraged.
- The corporate culture is not supportive. Having fun isn’t encouraged.
- There’s a lot of turf protection and lack of cooperation.
Well, that’s not a pretty picture. What a restrictive, soul-sucking environment! If this sounds a bit too much like your organization, and you’re in a position to make changes, here are some ideas.
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.
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.