Sometimes, I just want to take my hands and put them on the shoulders of a development director and shake them and say, “Wake up!”
Richard and I work with development directors and major gift officers from many different organizations.  Because of that we have the ability to see things from a different vantage point and can better survey the landscape.  Sometimes that landscape looks pretty bleak.
When you are working in a non-profit institution for a good period of time, it’s easy to lose the big picture.  It’s easy to become self-centered, to focus on your work, your issues, your office politics, etc…
And, it goes beyond what our industry calls the “silo” mentality.  (Gosh, how many conference seminars deal with that topic?)  I really think it’s more about believing that our own work is so important that we lose sight of things.  We lose sight of the fact that we could actually be doing better and greater things if only we recognized the gifts that other departments and people can bring to our own work.
You and your department become solo players. You forget the value other people and other departments have on your work.
It’s easy to become myopic in how you do your work.  You begin to put boundaries around your “territory.”  When that happens, you either unconsciously (best case) or purposely (worst case) keep good people with great strategies out of your world.
I really don’t think you can afford to do that.  Not if you truly want to 1) give your donors an incredible experience with your organization and 2) grow into a leader in the development field.
So, I’m starting this new series called, “We ALL Need Each Other-Why Going Solo Doesn’t Work.”  Yeah, it might sound a little corny, but it speaks to the heart of the matter.  .  As someone involved in major gifts, you need the insight and talent of other people and departments who can help make you successful and help you truly serve your donors.
I’m going to be taking about how you as a MGO need the cooperation and input from all the areas below.
1. Planned Giving
2. Program
3. Direct-Response
4. Communications/PR
All of these areas of fundraising are critical to you for the success of your major gift program.  Now I ask you to put away your biases, along with your association of these areas to personalities with whom you may have a problem, and allow yourself to be open to new possibilities in your work with major donors.
You cannot afford NOT to work with other people and departments within your organization.  And, YOU can be an agent for change.
What I would appreciate is your stories too.  Richard and I want this blog to be a dialogue.  Thanks for walking with us.