10 Donor Records Every Major Gift Officer Should Keep Track Of
You would think that it would be difficult to “lose” a donor who gave a significant gift. But in the last two weeks, I have received stories of a $73,000 donor disappearing, a $100,000 donor gone missing and a lost check from a $25,000 donor.
Seriously. How does this happen?
Another story just came in about a donor who dropped through the cracks, and it sheds a little light on this subject.
It seems that the major gift officer (MGO), who made his confession just last week, has been proud that he "flies by the seat of his pants" in his major gift work. I am not sure what there is to be proud of, but he thinks this is positive working style.
So, he tells the story of how he lost track of a $75,000 donor and was not sure what he knew about him. All of this happened, he says, because he did not “put any contact, moves, activity notes into the computer six months ago when he met the donor and the donor gave his generous gift.
Now let’s stop and process this for a bit. The donor gives $75,000 and the MGO doesn’t write anything down? Is this what “flying by the seat of your pants” means? I guess so.
This MGO told the story to an associate of ours because our system of donor management requires the regular review of every donor on a caseload. This MGO was new and had never experienced the donor-by-donor review, and that is how this lost donor came to our attention. The review finally got to this donor and our associate asked: “So, what’s the story with this donor?” And the MGO responded: “I don’t know. I don’t remember anything about him.” And then we find out there are no notes, no history and no memory about what caused the gift or why the donor gave.
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.