Thanks for being awesome.
We are constantly asking Directors of Development (DODs) to encourage and thank their major gift officers (MGOs), something that doesn’t happen enough. If you are a DOD and you have MGOs under your care, take note of how my friend Scott Justvig of The Salvation Army thanked his MGOs. Here is what he wrote:

First message: to two MGOs who work with individuals

Do you know how very PROUD I am of both of you??? You have completely embraced this expanded focus on “intentional relationship” with our strongest supporters and most important Donors. And not just in theory, but with solid consistent results. You are proving every day that not only does this strategy make sense, but it makes dollars and cents.

I know I don’t tell you often enough that I appreciate you, but know well that I respect your efforts and marvel at your results.

Between the two of you, you will impact not only our Campaign results, but much more importantly, you will impact our service to those counting on us. Please accept my thanks, gratitude, and hope for your continued impact. Nice job!

Second message: to a MGO dealing with corporations and business

Okay so I know you feel the pressure from me to get results from a portfolio of companies that have NEVER had a consistent and intentional relationship with us. And I’m sure there are days when you’re more than a little frustrated that you don’t “see” the same kinds of results that your colleagues are seeing with their individual Donors.

Just remember, it’s different for your companies. It’s not even apples and oranges, it’s more apples and doorknobs! Goofy, huh? Seriously I put pressure on you so that we can start to gain forward movement in the critical aspect of corporate giving. But I’m not blind to the fact that corporate budgets are determined WELL in advance of our ask, and more often than not spoken for long before we get to them.

While we still need you to produce real results for the bottom line, no one, let me say that again, NO ONE is unaware of your efforts and determination.

I’m not going to lie to you by telling you that cash in the bank doesn’t matter, clearly it does. But I’m very grateful for the tenacious efforts you show each and every day.

Maybe not today, and maybe not even tomorrow, but one day soon your hard work is going to start to pay off with dollars and cents. Just don’t stop. You can do this.

Thanks, my friend! – Scott

If you look at these two messages, you’ll see:

  1. Genuine thanks and valuing
  2. Acknowledgement that getting results is not easy
  3. Understanding of how the whole major gift thing works
  4. Assurance that all of this takes time
  5. And more thanks and valuing.

It doesn’t get better than this. Please take the time to honor and lift up your MGOs this week. And then make it a habit to reward them with your words and praise. Just noticing and expressing understanding does so much for their spirits. And it takes so little effort on your part.