The Case of the Major Gifts Fundraising Employee Who Didn’t Fit
I did agree with him that some of the management stuff had slipped a little and that all the potential had not been realized as it should. I then decided to ask him a question.
I said: "So, Bob, let me ask you a question. Which of these two situations would you rather have?"
- Situation 1: A manager who has your budget buttoned down tight, is in touch with all the numbers, who is a whiz at excel spreadsheets, who has finance and HR happy, who is loved by the CEO because "she really is in control of her stuff," BUT whose major gifts program is failing, where the caseload values are low, the ratios of MGO expense to caseload value is below average and growth is flat? Or …
- Situation 2: A really good major gifts person who, with management help, can make the program successful, vibrant, growing and above average, where donors are happy and retained?
"Well," he said. "It's not just a few things I have to manage ..." And he listed a few more items he found irritating that he had to manage because Ann wasn't.
Then I told him a story about myself. I told him I like things in order, just like he does. I am a manager. And chaos, of any sort, used to drive me nuts. It still does, if I don't watch myself. So, I told him, I could relate to what he and managers and CEOs like him are thinking and feeling.
I told him about the early years of owning a major direct response agency in the United States and Europe and how I had to learn that a good agency (read a good organization of any kind) is made up of good management folks, product people, creative people and salespeople.
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.