Why is it we keep looking for some new way to do something, when we know the exact steps it takes to get it done?
All of us here at Veritus Group experience this dynamic on a daily basis.
- We tell MGOs and Development Directors to build relationships with CURRENT donors – instead, they chase high-capacity non-donors. One Development Director recently sent his new MGO off to connect with a non-donor so that she could “secure a million-dollar gift.” Good luck on that!!
- We tell MGOs that not all donors who give the organization a lot of money actually want to relate – but the MGO loads up his caseload with non-qualified donors and proceeds to waste over half of his time with non-responsive donors. No wonder he is so frustrated with his lack of progress!
- We tell MGOs that they must KNOW the donor’s passions and interests in order to serve the donor well – but the MGO ignores that advice and goes directly to asking the donor for a gift that does not match his passions and interests. Be ready for a “no” on this one.
- We tell Development Directors and Major Gift Managers that meaningful connections and value retention from the same donors are important metrics to measure MGO performance. But they ignore that and choose number of face-to-face contacts – and then they wonder at the lack of progress by their MGOs.
- We offer training on all of these topics and many more areas, but a manager wants “something new and different” and brings in a motivational speaker to “rally the MGOs” and “inspire them to new thinking.” We don’t have any trouble with motivation and inspiration. Nor do we have any issue with someone using another source for training. But when the basic principles of major gifts are not being done in the organization, we look at these “new things” as distractions. And we are proven correct in our conclusion when we see the MGOs’ performance numbers decline.
Why do we have this drive to move away from what we know works, toward new and shiny things?
Because the new, inspirational and creative thing feels so much better and looks so good. And it is easier. You just have to listen to it all, feel good and apply what you can. And certainly, since it feels so good, it must work!
The alternative – qualifying donors, identifying their passions and interests, creating personalized goals and plans for each donor – all of this work is rather boring, basic and routine.
There must be a better way. Or so we think. And so we get drawn in by the new thing and enthralled by its foolish promises. We have all fallen prey to the enticements of the new and different, so we know what this is all about.
Make a commitment today to get the basics done with your major gift donors. And avoid the new and shiny things that will reach out and grab you. You will be way more productive – and happier.
PS – For more of these “boring basics,” download our free white paper, “Building on Bedrock: Indispensable Work in Major Gifts.”