Fundraisers Are Problem-Solvers
This week, I was flying to New Orleans for some foundation meetings. As the crew was preparing to take off, one flight attendant shared with another, “I need you to talk to the serviceman with the guide dog. I’ve told him twice that the dog has to be in his lap, and he is not complying.”
I’m a big fan of the airline I fly most regularly, but verven then—thanks to recent publicity about other airlines—I had visions of this serviceman and his dog being dragged off the plane.
Soon, the flight attendant, who had been given the challenge, was talking to a passenger in the aisle across from me. He explained that the row had two vacant seats and extra room and if she didn’t mind, the serviceman and his dog would join her—the lab could sit on the extra floor space. She was delighted, and the seat swap was made.
Then, the problem-solving flight attendant asked if he had a connecting flight. The serviceman did. The flight attendant shared that maybe he could ask the next crew about making the switch, if they did not think of it on their own. And he thanked the young former soldier for his service
A few minutes later, the flight attendant returned to share that he had messaged the crew on the connecting flight and asked them to make this same accommodation.
I witnessed excellence in customer service and a team member saving, what could have been, a challenging situation.
As development professionals, the level of service and excellence in which your organization delivers its mission impacts us directly.
We must be ever-vigilant in observing and being proactive in solving situations.
A client is providing “concierge service” to a couple who may become residents at their retirement community. The couple has significant wealth and had just made a seven-figure gift in the community when a member of the sales team hired to help with the new development asked them for financial statements. As the couple bristled, our client stepped in and assured the sales member that the couple would qualify and no documentation would be necessary.
You have a mission and life-changing and live-saving plans worth investing in. Beyond your fundraising role, you need to be a steward of your organization’s culture and quality.
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.