Do I have the right talentFourth in a Series: 6 Questions Your Major Gift Plan Must Answer

You can have a great cause. You can have a wonderful and engaging office and culture. You can have the latest technology and systems. But if you don’t have the right talent, more than likely you’ll fail.
You’ll fail because the frontline person – your major gift officer – is the face of your organization to your donor. And if that MGO is not the right person, that representation of your cause to the donor will be flawed, which in turn will do damage to an important donor relationship.
Jeff and I have seen so many instances where a person is hired to become a MGO for an organization and they have never done any fundraising, much less major gift work. They have not even had a prior job in high-end sales or any other type of job that is remotely related to the skill set required for a MGO.
You cannot do this. That’s why, if you’re starting a major gift program (or even revitalizing one), your plan must include a positive answer to the question: “Do I have the right talent?”
We’ve written a white paper that has detailed lists of who the “right” MGO is for your organization. You can download it here. This white paper covers topics like:

  • How to create the right environment
  • The elements of the right job description
  • Why attitude is more important than aptitude when hiring
  • The qualities of a good MGO
  • Retaining good MGOs

I suggest you get your hands on this white paper for a detailed look into all of these areas. And if you don’t feel like doing that, fine – then, consider these few points:

  1. Hire someone who loves your mission and cause, not just anyone who’s looking for a job.
  2. Make sure they love to help people fulfill their interests and passions
  3. Having great communications skills (verbal and written) is a must
  4. They must be able to handle rejection and not take it personally
  5. Their working style is one of collaboration and teamwork
  6. Make sure they have a personal style that will evoke trust and confidence in donors
  7. They know how to effectively “sell” your cause
  8. They are persistent and focused

There are many more qualities and attributes in the white paper. But this list is a good start. Take your time to get the right talent to do major gifts. It’s so important for you and your organization. And it will assure that your donors stay with you over the long haul, which is a very important value. (Tweet it!)
Read the whole series on Questions Your Major Gift Plan Must Answer:

  1. Do I Have Enough Time? 
  2. Do I Have the Right Donors?
  3. Do I Have the Right Offers?
  4. Do I Have the Right Talent? (this post)
  5. Do I Have the Ability to Stay Focused and Structured?
  6. Do I Have the Right Performance Measurements?