I hope this six-part series on understanding the traits of magnificent MGOs has been helpful and inspiring for you as you go about your daily work. Obviously, there are many more traits than these, and if you read some of our previous blog posts you’ll see that Richard and I have written quite a bit on exceptional major gift officers.
Before I get to the last trait, I want to recap for you the previous five to set the context for this last one. So here are the traits:
- Teamwork — Magnificent MGOs work with others well. They break down silos, establish good relationships with colleagues, and understand that we all need to help each other if there is going to be any success.
- Customer-Service Mindset — All great MGOs have the ability to know their donors’ needs, anticipate them and become proactive in providing them with incredible service. They know how to “surprise” their donors with information, stories, advice and access so that donors feel loved and appreciated.
- Persistence and Patience — Successful MGOs “stick with it.” They know the right balance of consistent follow up and have the patience to understand that it’s all in a donor’s own time frame. They also don’t take it personally when a donor is reluctant to get back to them. This is a key element in moving through the “desert” times of the work of major gift officers.
- Planners — Magnificent MGOs understand they need a plan with revenue goals and accountability to stay focused. They know they need to place themselves under the guidance of a manager who will keep them on the right track. It does feel counter-intuitive for great MGOs, but they know that they cannot be successful without it.
- Competitive/Restless — Having that competitive spirit and always staying restless and pursuing creative opportunities for their donors are two traits that all magnificent MGOs possess. Healthy competitiveness drives them to do all the right things with their donors because they know it will end with a great result.
And, finally our last trait: Brokers of Love and Joy
Richard and I believe this last trait is among the most important. Why? Because this is the “place” from which all magnificent MGOs work. They know ultimately that it’s NOT about money. It’s all about bringing love and joy to the donor by becoming the bridge between the donors’ passion and desire to change the world and the world’s greatest needs. When MGOs come from that place, it influences everything and everyone around them.
MGOs who possess this mindset have a quiet confidence about them that is infectious. They have an energy about them that does not get anxious because they know if they are doing their work in the right way, good things will ultimately happen. Donors take their calls. Colleagues seek their advice. Their managers sleep well at night.
An MGO who possesses this mindset also has no fear of asking, because they know that one of the greatest things donors can do is to give away their money… lose a little bit of the power their money has, and release it to address a great need.
Often, when I speak at a conference or to a group of development professionals, I end my talk, after walking through all the complexities of major gifts, goal setting, strategies, etc., by saying something like this: “In the end, you are all ‘brokers of love and joy.’ You have the greatest job in the world. How many people can say they bring donors together with the world’s greatest needs and make something incredible happen?”
This is what you do every day. YOU are a broker of love and joy.
Magnificent MGOs quality #1: Teamwork
Quality #2: A True Customer-service Mindset
Quality #3: Persistence and Patience
Quality #4: Planners!
Quality #5: Competitive and Restless
Quality #6: Brokers of Love and Joy