We need your help.
The pressure you face from many non-profit leaders and managers – pressure to bypass the hard work of major gift fundraising and go after the money – is almost overwhelming. To be honest, many good people don’t make it in your job because of that pressure.
Richard and I need your help, so you don’t become one of those that don’t make it.
What can you do? Continue building relationships with your donors even when you are under pressure to go after the money.
You don’t sell widgets. You don’t produce a product that sits on a shelf. You are not convincing someone to buy the “latest thing” that will make her life easier.
You are asking donors to change the world through the mission of your organization, in the context of having built a trusted relationship with that donor. This is why Richard and I believe you have one of the hardest jobs in the non-profit sector… and probably one of the least understood.
Many non-profit leaders and managers don’t understand that building a trusted relationship with a major donor takes an enormous amount of time and work. Then multiply that by 150.
When non-profit leaders look in from the outside, they think that being a major gift officer is just going out and having lunch and doing fun things with people. Believe me, Richard and I have heard this directly from Executive Directors.
Worse, there are leaders and managers who think that’s all you have to do as an MGO… go out, have dinner with a donor and ask them for a million dollars. Done. What’s so hard about that?
They don’t understand that the real work is about gaining a donor’s trust to inspire her to make an impact in the world through everything your organization does. And while doing that, you’re always walking a fine line between being professional yet personal with a donor.
Really getting to know your donor is what takes so much time and effort. But if you have done the HARD work, the eventual payoff is enormous… for your donor, your organization and you.
The problem is that everything is stacked against you to keep you FROM doing the hard work that relationship-building requires.
Our culture today is all about immediate gratification. Our industry demands that you bring in money now, not tomorrow, to show success. Boards and leaders of non-profits have the mindset of Wall Street brokers who demand to see monthly earnings rise, so shareholder values increase. Everywhere you look, non-profits need money now.
The pressure on you to bring in the money immediately is tremendous. Many of your colleagues succumb to it. I don’t blame them, but Richard and I are asking you to hold on. Stand up to that pressure so you can continue to do major gift fundraising the right way – the only way – by building relationships.
We will do everything we can at Veritus to come alongside of you and help you “hold back” the tide of transactional fundraising that we see sweeping the non-profit community. We’re in this journey with you.
We need you to hang in there and do the hard work of building those relationships with donors, understanding their passions and interests, and communicating often to your organization’s leaders about what you are trying to accomplish.
If you can do that, little by little you can make an effective case for building relationships with donors and not chasing money. When leaders see the success it will bring (and it WILL bring success), change will happen. We’re walking with you.