Richard Perry

Richard Perry

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.

Robots and Major Gift Officers

I titled this post “Robots and Major Gift Officers” to get your attention and to make the point that it would be ridiculous to even consider that a robot could be a major gift officer. But I also want to make the point that in your daily major gift work, you have to guard that you don’t do robot-like work.

1 Simple Word Changes Everything

Purpose to examine all of your asks and proposals in the next week or so. And look at the “because” in each of them. Does your “because” have something to do with solving a societal problem? If not, you are on the wrong track.

When Qualified Caseload Donors Become Unqualified

You’ve done everything right. You’ve accepted the major gift principle that not all donors, who meet a financial metric, want to relate to you. You’ve laboriously gone through a larger list of donors who meet your major gift criteria.

Wishful Thinking in Major Gifts

It is an amazing thing to watch—truly amazing. Some authority figure casually deciding to hire a major gift officer to chase what Jeff and I would call ghosts and rabbits. It’s wishful thinking at its best...

The Plague of Technical Communication

Let me talk to you about technical communication. Have you ever been in the presence of someone who is blathering away, and you can barely understand what they are saying? It happens quite frequently in major gift communication. It’s called “talking over the person’s head.”...

Habits of Successful Major Gift Officers

The three elements of a successful major gift program are a good program to present to donors, good donors and a good major gift staff. Jeff and I have seen many major gift situations where one of these elements was missing, and it was impossible for a major gift program to really get traction...

Watch Your Language About Your Donors

You can tell what a person really thinks by the language they use or the behavior they engage in when the customer or donor is not looking. I was reminded of this truth at a Veritus Group retreat when one of our associates looked me in the eye and said: “Richard, the words you just used prove that you do not respect one of my important values.”...

Don’t Write the Older Donors Off

There is something about social media and online communications that twists many people’s heads around to conclude that the up-and-coming Millennial cohort is where the money is. Couple this conclusion with a “direct mail is dead” view, and you have a deadly combination...

Major Gift Manipulation Never Works

If you have attended a training program with a major-gift guru, you have likely learned many techniques and strategies on how to approach major donors. Much of this material is very good. But some of those trainings, a great deal of effort is made to manipulate the donor into giving. Major gift manipulation never works...

Managing Major Donor Expectations

The donor was absolutely giddy about supporting the project. It was something close to his heart—something he wanted to put some of his hard-earned money into. So when the major gift officer told him about it, the decision was easy, but he had a few questions on the scope and cost of the project...

A Checklist for Nonprofits Starting a Major Gift Program

It is always amazing to me to hear managers and leaders who want to start or rebuild a major gift program say, “We will just hire some major gift officers and get going,” or something like that. It’s as if this MGO will arrive on the scene and suddenly, money will be pouring into the organization...

Advice for the New Major Gift Officer

It is important to start right in a major gift program as a new major gift officer. And starting with donors, program and back office familiarization is the key. Everything else, while important, is a distraction, in my opinion...

Keeping It Short, Simple and Donor-Centered

This week, purpose to keep all your communications donor-centered, avoiding your natural tendency to talk about what you (or others in your organization) want to talk about. And keep it short, simple and to the point...

Is Your Major Gift Officer Too Passive—or a Pest?

It is not an uncommon dilemma. A major gift officer worries about being too aggressive in the relationship, so they turn down the contact volume and miss an opportunity. Or they turn it up too high and offend the donor. How do you strike a balance?...