Getting to the Heart of Major-Gifts Giving
10 steps to getting passion back into your organization
1. Fall in love again with the cause or people who benefit from your organization. Who are they? What is their journey? What do they care about? How can you do more for them?
Here’s how you can encourage the people in your organization to get the focus off of themselves and back on the people you serve:
- Once a week, send an e-mail to the entire staff with a story about a dilemma faced by a person your organization serves. Usually, this is a story that is not yet resolved. The purpose of this exercise is to keep employees focused on why your organization exists.
- Once a week, share another story of a person who’s been helped by your organization, but this time make it a success story. This cements in employees’ minds that what you’re doing is really working.
- Once a month, have an employee speak to the larger group about the vision and mission of your organization and what it means to him or her. This reminds employees that what they’re doing is important.
- Do everything possible to include the persons helped by your organization every day. Hang photos of them in the hallways. Talk about their needs or desires in conversations about your business or plans. Keep them always at the top of your employees’ minds.
Your entire exercise is about your constituents. If you keep that in mind, many other things will fall into place.
2. Fall in love again with your donors. They are important stakeholders in your organization. It isn’t the board. It isn’t the president. It isn’t even you. It’s the donor who really owns the charity. Why not start behaving that way? Remind yourself and everyone else that after the people or cause that receive help from your hard work, the next person who matters is the supporter. Here are some things you can do:
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.