8 Steps to Take During Difficult Times
I am often asked about the state of major-gifts fundraising during difficult economic times or seasons when things seem to be going well, like right now, but there is fear that something bad is about to happen. Will people give less? Should we budget less? Should we move more into a stewardship mode with donors vs. asking them for gifts? What should we do?
The surprising thing about major-gifts fundraising during difficult economic times or times of fear is that, if managed properly, the dollar value of a caseload of donors can actually go up. The key words in this statement are "if managed properly."
The big point of managing a caseload properly is not only who is on the caseload (taking capacity and inclination factors into account), but also what you are doing with your good friends on the caseload. And here I am addressing something beyond classic moves management — something that makes up my list of steps to take during difficult times or times of fear and anxiety:
1. Make sure you talk about the merits of your product (what your organization does — you call it "program"). Are you adequately communicating the benefits ofx your product? If your donors are not supporting your cause it may be because you are not using the proper emotion and urgency to define what you do.
2. Make sure you have the right people doing the right things. Too many managers confuse loyalty to people with the care and courage it takes to match poorly performing employees with work that better matches their skill sets. Do you have the right people in the right jobs? Are you honest with your employees about their abilities and your job needs? Are you as a major-gifts officer doing something other than focusing on your caseload? Are you as an MGO manager allowing the MGO to be engaged in something other than the caseload? If so, there's trouble ahead.
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.