The Case of the Major Gifts Fundraising Employee Who Didn’t Fit
I told him that many times the product, creative and sales people, from the point of view of the management people, are just viewed as "out to lunch." It's sad and counter-productive, I said, that management people really think this way because this kind of attitude works its way out into the hearts of these good people, makes them small and less valued and therefore less productive.
I told him the journey I had to go on to really value sales and creative people (read major gifts people) the way I valued the finance, business and HR folks. I also explained how, as I did this, it raised the value of these good people up and produced a better result for the company and for them. Then I told him that my added work, to cover what was "missing," was very small in comparison to the awesome results we were getting.
Then I kindly said that he needed to man up and be thankful for such a good major gifts manager he had in Ann and to take the step of providing the management support she needs to maximize the talent that was right in front of him.
Bob bought in to my rationale and provided the support, and now, every time we get together, we go through the following ritual: I sit patiently while he rants about this same material, I remind him of the points that are true and he relaxes. It's a great, cathartic exercise, which works for him and, practically, helps him act in the right way toward his good major gifts manager.
And the major gifts program? It's doing really well.
I wish I could get to the other "Bob's" in our sector to do the same thing so they will stop abusing their major gifts people. It would get rid of so much angst and really honor people as they should be honored and respected.
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.