Choosing Between Revenue From Members and Donors
OK, so you are reading this and saying: "Yup, understand what you are saying, Richard. Got it. But we don't have that problem here. We have it wired really tight." Hmmm ... I've heard that before. In fact, I have a situation right now where when we "looked under the covers," we found $1 million of lost revenue—$1 million!
When I talk to the managers involved about this, they are so entrenched in maintaining their systems that I can't get them to budge. And I can't get the manager of those managers to engage. It is truly unbelievable!
So then I sit back and reflect on the whole thing. What is going on here? I understand how we got to this place. But how is it maintained year after year even when supposedly enlightened professionals are at the helm?
The only thing I can conclude is that it is either protectionism (got to keep MY stuff) or arrogance or a combination of both. It's not about intelligence-these are smart and capable folks!
I am writing about this today because Jeff and I want to do our part in bringing this situation to the light of day. Why? So nonprofits will be stronger and healthier. And so major gifts programs, our specialty, will be more effective.
Do I really think we need to make a choice between members and donors? Nope. We just need to manage both of the programs better and make sure they are treated in a holistic and integrated manner.
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.