Make The Nonprofit Program Person Your Best Friend
The three strategic drivers of a major gift program are an offer, a donor and a major gifts officer (MGO). When these three things come together, in a mutual way, great things happen.
MGOs are always consumed with the donor: making a connection with her, relating to her, sending her information, etc. When I sit down and talk to MGOs about the most important aspect of their job, they always say something about the donor.
It is true. The donor is very important. Without her there are no funds. And without funds there is no organization.
But I've seen a number of situations where an organization has great donors and above-average MGOs, but it is failing to cultivate the donors and raise the money it could for its cause. Why? Because there isn't any offer. No one has sat down and taken the budget of the organization and framed it into offers or "asks" that can be presented to donors for funding.
Many of the leaders and managers in these organizations believe it is enough to just make the overall case to a donor and ask for a gift — "That will do it", they say. "You don't need anything else!"
So if it's a rescue mission, all you have to do, they say, is just tell the donor we need funds for food or shelter to take care of the homeless. Well, that "offer" will take the organization somewhere. But, believe me, it won't raise the kind of money the organization needs. It is just not enough.
As I have studied this topic over the last few years, I've come to realize that in most organizations, the finance, accounting and business people are the ones who really run the show. And that's not all bad. Controls need to be in place to make sure the money is handled properly.
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.