Your organization exists for a reason – to address a problem or need. If you stay away too long from that problem or need your heart will grow cold, you will turn negative about what you are doing, and you will become less effective at serving your donor.
This is why Jeff and I regularly remind ourselves, our associates and clients how important it is to stay close to the need – to come up against it – to be in it – to feel it constantly.
At least once a week you should turn from your computer, your spreadsheets, your meetings, your plans, your donors, your everyday pre-occupation with all that is – you should turn from all of that and get into the need. Why? So that you can be in the right place mentally and emotionally to serve others and help heal the hurts of our planet.
This is so important. If you are not in the right place, you cannot effectively serve your donor.
Remember, you are not just raising money. You are serving the homeless person, serving the drug addict, the abused single mom, the hungry, the orphan, a stream that needs restoring, the child struck by cancer, the teenager trapped in sex trafficking, the refugee, the animal species that is abused or on the verge of extinction, etc.
And you serve these great causes by helping the donor be with the recipients of your service. We know that if donors can be with those you serve, they will be more inclined to help.
Your job as a MGO is to transport the donor, through words and pictures, right into the scene. This is the key strategy you need to use to make sure that there is heart in your major gifts program. There is nothing like being right at the scene that will significantly transform your donor’s view of things.
Have you ever said “you should have been there”? Why did you say that? Because you knew it would have made a huge difference. That is your objective. To replicate, through your words, descriptions and images what it is like to be there, right in the middle of the problem and need.
If you are finding it difficult to connect your organization’s work to the passions and interests of the donor, it is because you have not adequately taken that donor into the problem or need. I have written extensively about this in a series called Taking Your Donor to the Scene. I encourage you to go to this series for detailed help on this subject.
This is a strategy you can take others in your organization through as well – people like your manager, your CFO, your I.T. person, etc. Get their hearts engaged with the real thing by taking them to the scene. It will change them and make your job so much easier.
So today, plan to take yourself to the scene – right into the problem or need – at least once a week. Go to where your program is being delivered, if you can. And if you can’t, spend time with someone who delivers it, and listen to the stories. Get as close to the need as you can. As you do this, you will be refreshed in your spirit, and you will change. And then, as all of this is happening to you, pass all of this experience on to the donor and others around you. Together, you all will be in a better place to effectively serve our hurting planet.
PS – The series I mentioned is also brought together in our free White Paper, Transporting Your Donor to the Scene. Make sure you request that ASAP.
Read the whole series: