Trusting the Process
Recently, I was sitting across the table from the CEO of a very large nonprofit we work with. He says, "Jeff, tell me how our MGOs are doing."
"Well," I say, "all of your MGOs have exceeded their revenue goals in FY2014, and overall your major-gifts program is up 70 percent in revenue over last year."
He looks at me and says, " No, no, I don't care about revenue."
I'm thinking to myself, "What the heck are you talking about? You'd better care about the revenue. This is phenomenal growth."
So, of course, I say, "What do you mean, you don't care about the revenue?"
He says, "Look, I want to know if they followed your process, or did this growth just happen by chance."
Now, I got it. He wanted to understand what his MGOs brought into the process. Did they actually add value, or did growth just happen because someone gave one seven-figure gift.
Then, he says this.
"Jeff, even if you had told me that we brought in less revenue than last year and that no one made their goals, yet they followed your process, I would've have been satisfied. Because, Jeff, I believe in your process. So, did they follow the process?"
Of course they all did. If they work with us, they have to follow the process. And, yes, this is why we saw such incredible growth this year.
That got the CEO pumped.
Major-gifts fundraising is not rocket science. It's not quantum physics or brain surgery. It's very hard work, but it doesn't require a masters degree or doctorate, or a CFRE for that matter. I'm not putting any of those down, but successful major-gifts officers don't need any of that.
If you like baseball, tennis, golf, Gregorian chant, jazz, rock, good wine and deep conversation, then you’ll like to hang out with Jeff.
If you are passionate about fundraising, Jeff will inspire you to be a true “broker of love” for your donors, helping you bring together a donor’s desire to change the world and the world’s greatest needs. Jeff believes that if nonprofits truly want to grow and obtain more net revenue for their mission, it will come through creating, building and successfully managing major-gift programs. The Connections blog will give you inspiration and practical advice to help you succeed. Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit fundraising experience and is senior partner of the Veritus Group.