How Administrative Support for an MGO Nets More Money for the Nonprofit
There is a controversy on administrative support for major-gifts officers (MGOs) going on right now that doesn't make any sense to me.
The conservative managers/leaders are saying: "An MGO does not need support to do his or her job!" They are emphatic about it. These are the same folks who want the MGO to be OUT OF THE OFFICE!! I capitalized that because that is how STRONGLY they feel about it.
Does anyone see a conflict here? They want the MGO to be out with donors while they also want the MGO to do all the in-office work necessary to make the major-gifts effort successful. Crazy.
So, the proponents of the traditional argument believe that an MGO does not need administrative support, that solid revenue can be secured and donors can be properly cared for without this critical support. The less risk aversive of these folks believe that admin support can be shared with other MGOs and even with other executives/positions.
While extenuating circumstances, at times, may lend credence to the notion that an MGO can be effective without support, I am going to make an economic case against that view.
First, some definitions. I have created three scenarios. All of them assume a starting first-year caseload value of $1 million. Please keep this in mind as you read on:
- The fully dedicated scenario: Here the MGO has a fully functional, 100 percent dedicated administrative assistant.
- The half-functional scenario: Here the MGO has an admin assistant but that assistant, either because he is shared and/or not fully competent, is operating at "half" level.
- The no administrative support scenario: Here the MGO does not have an administrative assistant.
So, keep these three scenarios in mind as you read on.
The next thing to keep in mind is that we are starting with a caseload that has 150 qualified donors who collectively have given the organization $1 million. This means the caseload value in the first year is $1 million.
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.