Sixth in a Six-Part Series: What Should I Do If…?
Major gift fundraising is the toughest job in the non-profit sector. (Tweet it!) Think about it. Your job is to build relationships with 150 donors (and all the work that entails), and to help them find joy in their lives through their giving. You’re also building relationships with multiple people within your organization to help you serve those donors. In addition to that, often, you also have to record every interaction you have with a donor.
This is why we have so many major gift officers asking us how to create balance in their lives as MGOs. Because it feels impossible – I get it. In almost every case, before we’ve started working with an MGO, they feel overwhelmed and stressed out. But as we start working with those MGOs, their stress and anxiety levels go way down over time. And they feel more balanced in their life.
Why is this happening? What’s the secret that we’ve discovered at Veritus? I’m going to outline for you how a stressed out, overwhelmed, out-of-balance MGO can seek wholeness in work and their personal life. These tips come from what we’ve learned, helping manage thousands of MGOs over the last two decades:
- We only allow MGOs to work with qualified donors. Once an MGO has only qualified donors, their stress level goes down by 50%.
- All MGOs we work with have a structure to work within. This means they have revenue goals that are cash-flowed by month, a strategic plan on how to cultivate, steward, and solicit the donor, and donor tiers to help the MGO focus their time correctly on the right donors.
- We meet with the MGO every week. This ensures they have the proper training, strategic advice, and built-in accountability and focus. They receive encouragement and inspiration to build relationships with donors and staff.
- Every month we help the MGO review their performance and proactively talk about donors who are in jeopardy of being behind goal, so we can create a plan to get them back on track.
- We report all this work up to the MGO’s manager and leadership to make sure there is constant communication about the program.
This alleviates the stress and anxiety that major gift officers are filled with as they reach out to people like us, asking how to balance their life.
Yes, you should still be exercising, eating right, meditating, and taking your vacation days. But the best thing you can do for yourself that will help you balance work and your personal life are the five points I just outlined.
How do I know this? Because we have years and years of proof that it works. Besides helping you with balance, this path will also help you to create beautiful relationships with donors, and your revenue will continue to grow year after year. When that happens, the stress and anxiety get replaced with fulfillment and joy in your work.
Read the whole series, What Should I Do If…?
What If Leadership Is NOT Entirely on Board with a Donor-Centered Program?
What If I’m Trying to Upgrade a Mid-Level Donor and No One Has Ever Talked to Them?
What If My Older Donor Stops Giving, but They Tell Us They’ve Made a Planned Gift?
What If I’m Trying to Promote Better Collaboration Between Departments?
What If I Can’t Get a Donor to Talk to Me?
What If I Can’t Seem to Balance My Work Life with My Personal Life? (This post)