MAJOR GIVING PROGRAMS
|HOW TO SUCCEED & WHY THEY FAIL
Most organizations depend on major donations for their very survival. Yet some organizations have failed to launch or strengthen effective major giving programs.
Why? Because they they spend more time trying to learn about major giving than removing the obstacles that prevent it from becoming successful.
Often the lack of involvement by the President & CEO is described as the single greatest obstacle to success. That conclusion is an oversimplification at best.
Yes, major academic institutions' Presidents may spend 40% to 60% of their time involved in fundraising. But that's because the rest of their organization knows how to identify prospective donors and turn the organization's dreams into innovative new services that fail to exist for a lack of funding alone.
President's & CEO's involvement in major gift fundraising will increase to meet the time demands and income opportunities that their staff presented to them.
The first step in building a "major donor friendly" culture is to demand more from the key staff responsible for developing "big dreams" and those, including the institution's volunteer leadership, in the best possible position to identify potential donors with the financial capacity to make gifts of significance.
Building a culture that's supportive of major donors is not easy, especially when the other demands on professionals are great. The process will benefit from outside coaching and expertise, but must start with the decision and commitment to change -- that maintaining the status quo, will not achieve an institution's potential.
ATTRIBUTES & BEHAVIORS OF SUCCESSFUL PRESIDENTS & CEO'S
Why do some executives appear to easily succeed at securing major gifts while others find it so difficult? No doubt, the culture and history of an institution play a key role.
But, what if your organization is just beginning a major gift program? What do you know about your strengths and weakness, your personal priorities, and your behavior and their impact on major gift cultivation and solicitation?
The good news is that CEO's are learning new behaviors every day. Presidents & CEO's can actually train themselves to be a better, stronger, more influential leaders and see the impact in the quality of the relationships they develop and the results of their major gift fundraising activities. TeamSoper can help.
RELATIONSHIPS & INNOVATION PRODUCE RESULTS
Talk to many consultants and they'll tell you that major gift fundraising is about mission, vision, and enthusiasm. That it is all about relationship management. They're not wrong. In fact, each of those is key to securing gifts of significance.
But just below the surface, those honored words become a bit fuzzier. For example, there are political jokes about "the vision thing," yet far too few nonprofit executives devote significant time to what will define the future of their organization and how they'll get there.
Why, when most corporations know that their future depends on new product and service development, do nonprofits fail to invest time or funds in the "research & development" process? How can your nonprofit innovate, test, and refine new products and services? What role to these innovative ideas have in building current and potential major donors' enthusiasm for your institution as it exists today and as it will become tomorrow?
[Learn how to energize your R&D efforts in TeamSoper's DREAMCATCHER WORKSHOPS -- custom designed for a nonprofit's volunteer leadership, top management, and key professionals.]
BEQUEST BROCHURES & RECOGNITION SOCIETIES
Every nonprofit organization wants to solicit gifts as part of their supporters Wills. Yet, building awareness that your organization accepts gifts in the firm of bequests in donors' Wills has proven daunting to many institutions. Why?
For the most part, the reasons to delay creating bequest materials and launching a bequest recognition society have been:
TeamSoper works with nonprofits to develop customized communications - both copy and creative - that urges your supporters to include a gift to your organization in their Will, to make you aware of their intent to support you through that planned gift and to maintain ongoing contact with those individuals in such a way as to recognize their commitment, strengthen their relationship with your institution, and provide them with an insiders' view of your accomplishments and dreams.
TeamSoper provides free bequest brochure copy to its retainer clients. Teamsoper's costs for bequest brochure development depends on the specific bequest-related communications materials desired.
Write TeamSoper, P.O. Box 40, Midway, UT 84049; call 435-654-5896; fax 435-654-5895 e-mail Michael Soper