#4 in the series: Five Things Leaders Need to Know about Major Gifts

graphic with words play your part transformational gifts
One of the greatest gifts you can give to your MGO is yourself, as a leader in your organization. I know you don’t have much time, so you can’t give that much. But what little time you can give could be the one reason your organization receives those transformational gifts.
Think about how this works…
A good donor of yours, with very high capacity, is being stewarded by your MGO. The MGO has done an exceptional job of identifying and then serving the passions and interests of the donor. And now the relationship has matured to the point where the MGO can present the donor with an opportunity to give that is truly transformational for your organization.
Put yourself in the donor’s shoes. You love the organization; and now, before you is a request for involvement that represents a significant gift. You have enjoyed the MGO. And there is nothing wrong with what she has done in her relationship with you. But this decision is so big and the amount is so large that…

  • You want to know, from the highest authority, that the expectations of accomplishment represented in the proposal can and will be actually accomplished. You have always thoroughly investigated the back story of your other investments – and this is no exception. You have some questions. You might even have some concerns or fears. You are now in a different mode. The stakes are pretty high, and you need the comfort that an authority figure will bring to help you process things.
  • You want to know that what you are contemplating doing matters to the leadership of the organization. This is not an issue of pride or ego; it is more about being valued. And if the authority figure shows up, then you know it matters to him or her.

Consider these needs that are inherent in the giving of a transformational gift. The fact is that only you, as the top leader, can deliver on them. This has nothing to do with the MGO. It is not a comment or judgment on her ability or lack of ability. It just simply is. That’s it.
Giving your time and energy to these situations is so important toward making a transformational gift happen. In the grand scheme of things, it will cost you very little time. And it will have such great returns.
Jeff’s and my advice to you in this area is very simple:

  1. Tell your MGOs that you are available to walk with them in these kinds of situations.
  2. Then fully participate by being available even when, at times, you must modify your schedule to accommodate the schedule of the donor.
  3. Also, tell the MGOs that you will do whatever it takes to coordinate the participation of finance and program to construct the very best offer for the donor.

You have no idea what a wonderful gift this will be to your MGOs. This is just what they need to answer the question you and your board might have asked. You know the question: “Why aren’t we getting bigger gifts, like other charities I hear about?”
Your participation is key. And the rewards will be significant.
Read the whole series about the Five Things Leaders Need to Know about Major Gifts:

  1. Leaders Need to Know Their Role in Major Gifts
  2. Getting and Keeping the Right MGO
  3. The Resource Every Major Gift Officer Must Have
  4. The Role of Leaders in Securing Transformational Gifts (this post)
  5. Leaders Need to Know How to Evaluate a Major Gifts Program