Major Gifts: The Art, the Heart, the Ask and the Attitude
Henry Rosso, a legendary modern fundraising professional, created several working philosophies from his book, “Lessons from a Master’s Lifetime Experience.”
One, people need and want to give, yet many do not know how, to whom or how much. Second, people should be able to give according to their means, their own interests and their own inclinations, without pressure. The decision should be theirs.
Finally, solicitors should always focus on the mission and not on budgeted needs of the institution. The solicitation is the simple process of taking a concern and sharing that concern with another individual.
Close your eyes and think about years ago when you were in a dressing or locker room before a big game, ready to sing in a choir performance, play in a marching band or give a speech. At that time, you were transformed and caught between being an individual (self) and being a member of the group you were representing (institution). The struggle between self and institution became blurred mostly because you wanted to perform well and promote team success as a result of your efforts.
While you’re at it, think of the institution you represent today as a fundraising professional. What are its strengths, weaknesses and purpose for existence? What service does your institution provide, and how does it fit in that context? Do your fundraising plan and individual/institutional philosophy blend well with your personal beliefs? Are you representing the institution as a sales representative, or are you fully, emotionally and passionately linked to the institution that you serve? Does the individual (you) represent the organization with passion, commitment and dedication, and are you fully convinced that investments in philanthropy are put to good use?
In short, are you fully prepared physically, mentally and emotionally to make the best personal solicitation possible?
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.