If you could make one change in your fundraising behavior, my advice would be to spend more time with major gifts. Planning, prospecting, scheduling meetings, asking for the gift, thanking the donor, thinking about the donor, keeping in touch with the donor.
If you’ve read this far, you might be saying something like, “Really? I know that.”
You might know it, but do you behave as if you know it?
Whether your title is Executive Director, Development Director or Major Gifts Officer, you might be the person responsible for major gifts. I’m sure that you let many other things get in the way of major gifts, such as, Events, Mailings, Events, Meetings, and Events.
Let me be clear, EVENTS are necessary, especially in setting up major gift strategies, and attracting prospects. Very necessary! However, you can invest too much of your time and energy into the events, while losing the greatest return, which is clearly the securing of major gifts.
I know that the discomfort of asking for a Major Gift is far outweighed by the fun of planning, executing and attending an event. You must fight the temptation. We all know that events can provide so much to an organization, but events will not sustain the budget cuts you could face from public funding sources. Quality time spent on your major gift strategy will absolutely transform your revenue budget. You will be energized by the momentum. We see it everyday with our clients when they follow our lead and take this approach.
How much time are you willing to invest in developing and implementing major gifts strategies for your organization? Who holds you accountable to making sure this is a priority and gets done?
John J. Corcoran
President & CEO