Earlier in this series I said that Doing What’s Expected in Major Gifts is, first about embracing who you are in this job and then aligning the beauty of who you are with what needs to be done. I also said that your work in major gifts is not just about the donor, the cause or the strategy. It’s also very much about you, whether you are the manager or the major gifts person.
So, right at the top, I have a key question for you. You are working for a good organization, right? If not, it might be time to get out.
And, you have solidly defined programs to raise money for, right? If not, try to help define them. If you can’t, it might be time to dust off that resume.
I always check these macro areas before getting into the details. Here’s why. The topic of good organizations and programs is all about the “product”. We all know that bad products don’t sell well or have a long shelf life in the commercial world. It’s exactly the same in the non-profit world.
A bad organization plus bad program means failure and you’d better start running if this is the case whether you are the manager or the major gift officer.
If these two items check out OK then it’s time to look at you and what you are doing.
So, have you done all you could? Let’s check…
Do You Know What You Are Doing? Do you have a job description that focuses on a caseload of qualified donors and nothing more? If not, you know what to do…
Do You Know Where You Are Going? Are there goals for every donor on that caseload – goals based on the history of giving and the potential of the donor? Do you know the interests and passions of each donor? Do you have a plan for each one? If not, you know what to do…
Are You Getting Out of the Office? Or are you saddled with a bunch of administrative work or non caseload related work? You know….
Does Your Boss Know What You Are Doing? Or is there a gap between his or her understanding and your reality? You know this one too…
Are You Planning Guilt Free Donor Trips where you are purposeful in every meeting you plan and supported by your manager to shower your good donors with attention and information? If there is some rusty, creaky stuff between you and your manager, pay attention to it, whether it’s on this subject of donor trips and visits or anything else. That creakiness is a signpost. Follow it.
But if you answered “YES” to all the questions above you’ve done all you could. And now it’s time to lay back, enjoy the ride and settle into a good place. Why do I say this? Because if have a good organization and a good “product” and you are truly doing all that Jeff and I have written about in this blog, you are doing major gifts the right way and you can only experience success.
And it’s good to be in that place, where you are helping your generous donors do good for humankind and the environment; where you are feeling secure and fulfilled in your job, and; where you are meeting the expectations of your manager.
You can’t beat it. It IS a good and happy place.