Almost every day, I am kindly interrupting a conversation and asking: “What’s the problem?”
At almost every junction on the road of your life, both personal and professional, you have a decision to make.
We are constantly asking directors of development to encourage and thank their major gift officers.
The relationship started like any other. The donor wanted to give to a specific program. The organization was very happy to help her.
I was at a conference and was asked the question: “What do you think about the trend to blend planned giving and major giving jobs?”
Donor assets are like pure gold for an organization. If you were to place a value on each one, the resulting number would shock you.
A major gift officer’s journey is never a straight and narrow line.
The African proverb speaks to the need for nonprofit managers to be aware of how their actions affect those they manage.
Resistance to change is a regular occurrence in our work with major gift officers. Most often, it is the director of development or the major gift officer who, on the front end, has difficulty with our work.
You’ve landed the job. You are the new major gift officer. Hopefully someone gave you a different title to use externally, because you should not use MGO as your title.
The other fundraising programs are not doing too well. Finance is going nuts, wondering how the bills will be paid. The executive director has a brilliant solution: launch a major gift program, and sit back and watch the money pour in.
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.
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.
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.
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...