the blog

Back to overview

are your potential donors testing your stewardship?

I continually learn from my clients, donors, and colleagues.  One of my client’s donors takes the profits from his apartment rental units and puts them in his foundation. He created a board and they select which charities to support.  A few years back he learned of a homeless charity nearby and wanted to see how they treat people.  He dressed up as a homeless person and showed up at their door.  He was treated with dignity and respect.  He left and returned a few days later with a six-figure check and the foundation supports that charity every year.

This reminded me of another client who took time to visit an elderly woman who was making a $25 a month gift to them.  She sent a letter to 26 charities asking for a visit as she wanted to learn more about the charity and make a bigger gift.  Only one Executive Director responded to her letters.  This led to a $6 million transformative gift to the charity allowing them to expand their services.

As much as we search for major gift donors, sometimes they will show up quietly.  At the start of a campaign you can identify who your best prospects are and at the end of it there will always be surprises that you didn’t expect.  Keep doing the right things every day.

Are you ready for someone who may show up unannounced?  Are you so focused on your daily plans that you miss potential surprises?


“When we hug, our hearts connect
and we know that we are not separate beings.”



Written by: Paul D’Alessandro

Founder and Chairman

  • Work with us and we'll propel your mission forward