The Three Relationships with Every Major Gift Prospect

By Major Gifts

Remember the Manager, the Prime, and the Asker. Those three roles exist in every major gifts relationship.  Go ahead, think about one of your donors.  Who is the Prime?  Who is the person your donor best relates to, is most comfortable with?  Who does your donor think of most often when he or she thinks of your organization?  Who do they like to hear from?  Who do they like to see? Who is the relationship with? It may be you.  Or your boss.  Or the CEO, board member or faculty member.  Figure it out.  And make sure that person understands. 

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Swing for Singles

By Major Gifts

Swing for singles.  Don’t swing for home runs. There is so much pressure on major gift officers in our profession today.  “We need a big gift and we need it NOW!” You are nodding your head as you read this because it pretty much sums up the feeling you get.  You don’t have the time you need to develop the relationship to the point where that big gift is realistic.  It’s a major issue. Or, you want the recognition, the “high,” that comes from reeling in that big gift.  We all do. Can I gently offer this thought?  Be out

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My Number One Donor Mistake

By Major Gifts

The number one mistake I make when working with donors and prospects? I work too fast. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it’s true.  I have to catch myself, time and again, and work very hard to not do that. Please don’t make this same mistake. Whether you’re on a visit, sending an email, making a phone call or writing a handwritten note, every contact with your donor has to appear to your donor as though he, she, or they are the most important priority in your world at that moment. If we’re thinking about our next visit, looking at

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Gift Bunching – or a Better Idea?

By Uncategorized

You’re going to hear a lot about “bunching” in the weeks ahead. The standard federal income tax deduction has been raised for 2018 to $12,000 for individuals and to $24,000 for joint filers.  There is a new limit on the mortgage interest deduction.  Wealthy donors whose deductions for property and local taxes, plus medical expenses are close to the standard deduction are looking for ways to boost the deductions they can claim this year. Tax advisors are suggesting “bunching” the next few years of charitable giving into one gift this year to a donor-advised fund (DAF) and benefiting from the

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Meet Mrs. McGillicuddy

By Briefing Emails

Mrs. McGillicuddy walked through the front door and went straight to the Main Desk.  “Hello, I would like to see the President, please.”  The receptionist smiled and said, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but the President is in a Board Meeting and can’t be disturbed.” “Dear, I know she is in a Board Meeting.  That’s why I came by today.  Please go knock on the door and say that a lady is outside who wants to make a million dollar contribution.  I have the check right here.”  And she did. In thirty seconds the President came out into the hall.  “Well, good

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“Don’t Crush Hope,” Continued

By Featured Content

A couple weeks ago in the Weekend Briefing we told you about “Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading” and we reprinted, with permission, a quote from the book titled “Don’t Crush Hope.” Here’s more: “In the book I talk about six concrete things leaders can do every day to help bring more hope into the workplace: “Help people see a better future. “Help people see how they might get to that future. “Show people how much they matter. “Help people see how much their work matters. “Help people see how small steps are the key to success. “Show people how they

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Major Gifts in Ten Minutes a Day

By Briefing Emails

We were having coffee and my friend looked panicky. “What’s the matter?” “Rob, it’s nearly September and I’m not getting out.  I haven’t made a visit in a month.  My plate is so full right now I can’t imagine finding the time to get a visit.  I need a whole day, but it’s not going to happen.” “Do you have ten minutes? “What do you mean?  You can’t do major gift fundraising in ten minutes!” As gently as I could, I looked my friend in the eye and said, “Of course you can.” Pay yourself first.  For fundraisers that means

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So, What’s Your Story?

By Featured Content

“Stories” are all the rage now in fundraising. As they should be. Every nonprofit I know works hard at telling their stories to their donors. But do we ever think about asking our donors to tell us THEIR stories? I was channel-surfing the other night and happened upon one of those “vintage music” shows on PBS.  They find old rock-and-roll groups, have a concert, film it, and intersperse the footage with lots of requests for donations to your local PBS station. I know you’ve seen them.  It must work, because there’s a raft of those shows. The one I happened

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Thoughts on Simple

By Featured Content

Who would ever imagine I’d be talking about Arianna Huffington?  The founder of the Huffington Post never brings a cell phone or tablet or computer of any kind into her bedroom.  She “tunes out” 7-8 hours a day. Arianna makes a point of saying that email can be a great liability to us, not an asset.  She suggests that we all become slaves to our email, that we often spend the majority of our day reacting to others, rather than proactively pursuing our own ideas and our own agenda for the day. — Here’s an excerpt from the blog, The

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