Nothing But Major Gifts
By Veritus Group
Major gifts fundraising is the lifeblood of non-profit organizations around the world. Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels address major gifts twice monthly, to help you and your organization connect with donors in authentic ways to make an impact in your community – and the world.
Answering Your Most Pressing Questions
As a fundraiser or fundraising leader, it can be challenging to know where to go to get your questions answered. It can also be overwhelming to find the right answer with how much information is available through the Internet. When we reached out to our network and asked them to share their most pressing questions, there was an astounding response! In today's episode, Richard and Jeff respond to a variety of questions submitted by listeners and readers that cover how to know when you need to hire another fundraiser, how to advocate for admin support, and more.
October 7, 2021
Do Membership Programs Suppress Giving?
Do Membership Programs Suppress Giving? Membership programs, when used incorrectly, are causing you to lose out on building true and authentic major donor relationships. Now, we’re not anti-membership programs, but many organizations do not set these programs up in a way that helps fundraisers engage with their donors in meaningful ways. And the result is that these donors get stuck at their annual giving level, while they make more impactful major gifts elsewhere. In this episode, Richard and Jeffrespond to a recent question about if membership programs really do suppress giving and share more about our perspective on the role membership programs should have at your organization.
September 23, 2021
Does Your Team Even Want to Go Back to the Office?
Many front-line fundraisers are telling us they are being asked to go back to the office this fall. But, with the Delta Variant causing more communities to reinstitute mask mandates and social distancing, is that wise? Do you even need that added stress right now? But here’s the real question: Should frontline fundraisers EVER be required to work from the office? And, if you are going to bring back your staff, how are you doing it in a way that honors and protects them? In this episode, Richard and Jeff discuss what we’re hearing from fundraisers about the transition back to the office and what the research says about whether your team can work remotely.
September 9, 2021
You Can't Have Major Gifts Without Donor Offers
You can have a mid or major gift program that is set up with the right structure, full caseload of qualified donors, great ongoing management, but if you don’t have compelling offers for donors to invest in, you won't be successful. In today’s podcast, Jeff and Richard talk with guest, Theresa Tapocsi, who leads Veritus’ efforts helping non-profits complete our Donor Impact Portfolio(DIP). The Donor Impact Portfolio is designed to help non-profits take all their programs and projects that make up their mission, and match it up with the entire budget, including overhead so that you know exactly what each of those programs and projects cost. You’ll get all the details on how this works, some of the learnings we’ve had over the years, and hear what the results have been when a non-profit invests their time and resources in equipping their front-line fundraisers with compelling offers.
August 24, 2021
Leading through Change
As non-profit fundraisers, we’ve all been through some kind of organizational change. Some are small changes, like a new protocol for thanking donors, and some are large, like a change in CEO or Executive Director. But change is inevitable. The question is, how do you lead through change, so you get buy-in from staff and they see the vision that the change is going to create? In today’s podcast, Richard and Jeff talk with Greg Gibbs, Executive Director of Development for the University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources, or UCANR. Greg shares his insights on how he has led his team during times of change and gives you great tips on how you can be an effective fundraising leader at your organization.
August 12, 2021
Finding Good Planned Giving Leads
Over the last year, we’ve been talking a lot about how to create, build, and manage a great planned giving program. Now, you can have your program all set-up, but if you don’t have a continuous stream of quality leads coming in, what good is it? In today’s episode, our Director of Planned Giving Services, Robert Shafis joins Jeff to talk about how you can be more effective in generating quality planned giving leads, what the latest strategies are, and what to do with all those new leads, whether you’re a small, medium, or large organization. Lead generation is changing. In today’s episode, learn what’s working and how an effective lead generation strategy will grow your planned giving program exponentially.
July 26, 2021
The Three Things Leaders Get Wrong About Mid-Level
We at Veritus Group have been implementing and managing mid-level programs for many years now. Over that time, we’ve discovered how non-profit leaders have misconceptions about what a successful program consists of. In today’s podcast episode, Jeff is joined by Lisa Robertson, Veritus Group’s Client Learning and Experience Leader, who has helped many Veritus clients launch successful mid-level programs. Jeff and Lisa discuss three things leaders get wrong about mid-level and how to overcome them, so you can be assured of having a winning program for years to come.
July 13, 2021
Five Things Every Fundraiser Should Do in the Summer
It’s summertime! Hopefully, you have a chance to breathe a bit. Today’s episode is all about what you can do during the summer, now that you have some time to think, that will help you have a successful year-end. Jeff is joined by Lisa Robertson, Veritus Group’s Client Learning and Experience Leader. Together, they’ll give you five ideas for what you can do during the summer that will allow you to achieve all of your goals by year-end.
June 22, 2021
Why is it that non-profit leaders are trying to keep overhead so low? Are they afraid that if it’s too high, donors will complain and threaten to stop giving? In almost every conversation we’ve had with donors about overhead, they are absolutely understanding that overhead is necessary to make the mission go! In today’s podcast episode, Richard and Jeff discuss how non-profits are hurting themselves and the sector at large, by being afraid to reveal the true cost of the operations and applying it honestly to the programs and projects that make up the work you are doing to change the world. So much is affected from terrible pay and burnout, to not allowing innovation… all in the name of keeping expenses low. But there’s something you can do about it. Find out what Richard and Jeff’s solution is.
June 8, 2021
Not Everything We Say Is True
Did you know that not everything Richard and Jeff say is true? Well, okay, it’s true, but it may not be exactly true for you and your situation as it pertains to how you implement The Veritus Way at your organization. Today’s podcast episode explores how The Veritus Way can work for your organization even if you don’t apply everything to the letter of the law. The podcast also welcomes a new guest host, Karen Kendrick (our Director of Learning) along with two guests: Lisa Robertson, one of our Veritus Client Experience Leaders and Greg Gibbs, head of major gifts at UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. Each of our guests will talk about how they are applying The Veritus Way in the organizations they work with.
May 24, 2021
How Likeable Are You?
As a front-line fundraiser, you need to possess many skills and traits. Richard and Jeff have highlighted many of them over the years. But there’s one they’ve never discussed before: how likable are you? In this episode, Richard and Jeff discuss 10 traits that make up likeable people, and how important they are to have as a front-line fundraiser. All of them are important, but some of them are pretty surprising.
May 11, 2021
The Donor Engagement Plan
As you know, The Veritus Way of Major Gifts is all about helping you design a structure, so you have the freedom and ability to create authentic relationships with your donors. The main tool we use to develop that structure is our Marketing Impact Chart. Guess what? We’re changing the name of the MIC and in this podcast episode, we tell you what it is and why we’re changing it, along with telling you why this tool has made a significant impact with thousands of front-line fundraisers all around the world. ------------ Download the newly-renamed tool at this link.
April 26, 2021
No Outcomes, No Income
You probably know that the number one reason donors either leave your organization and stop giving or reduce their giving is because they were never told how their gift made a difference. Yet most non-profits we’ve encountered don’t make this a priority. In this week’s podcast, Richard and Jeff discuss three strategies to help organizations make the investment in reporting back impact and ultimately change the culture of your non-profit so that you can retain donors and increase giving over time.
April 5, 2021
Seven Ways to Stand Out with your Donors
Your donors are busy. There's a lot of noise in their lives. The front-line fundraisers who can cut through that noise and get noticed by their donors will have the ability to win their hearts and minds. In today's episode, Richard and Jeff give you seven ways to stand out with your donor, so they'll engage with you AND allow you to build an authentic relationship with them.
March 23, 2021
From $1,000 to $100,000
You know that donor that gives every year in November a check for $1,000… and they’ve been doing it for a thousand years? Yeah, you know, that one. You’re most likely thinking, “Every November I can always expect that check to come in, but it's not really worth it to me to reach out and find out who they are. They’re not going to give more.” In this episode, Richard and Jeff tell you a story of how an MGO decided NOT to listen to that story in their head, and instead they reached out to that $1,000 donor – and the donor became a $95,000 donor! While this is just one story, Richard and Jeff have heard hundreds just like this from MGOs who are following The Veritus Way of major gift fundraising. Get inspired to rethink about how you view some of you donors and start talking to them. You’ll find out information that will enable you to ignite your donor’s desire to make the world a better place!
March 10, 2021
More Myths in Major Gifts
There are so many myths in major gift fundraising that Richard and Jeff devote a whole chapter to it in their latest book, “It’s Not JUST About the Money.” These myths hurt not only the success of a major gift program, but the development of front-line fundraisers. Today’s episode debunks several myths and gets to the truth of what major gifts is really about. It continues on the theme of a previous episode in November 2020.
February 19, 2021
Answers to Your Burning Questions
Professional fundraisers have lots of questions about how you can do your work better. Each week, Richard and Jeff hear from your colleagues all over the world on how they can be better fundraisers. Today’s podcast answers some of the most burning questions they get. They hope that their answers will help you think differently and inspire you in the work you do every day to help change the world.
February 1, 2021
New Year's Resolutions, Part 2
Join Richard and Jeff for Part 2 of their discussion of six New Year’s Resolutions. In this podcast they outline the second 3 resolutions that you may have never heard of before… however, they’re resolutions that are embodied in every successful Major Gift Officer they’ve met. Start your year off right and find out what all successful Major Gift Officers have in common.
January 19, 2021
New Year's Resolutions, Part One
Goodbye 2020! In today’s podcast Richard and Jeff highlight 3 resolutions to start your new year. They’ll not only inspire you, but they’ll help you become a better front-line fundraiser in 2021. We can’t think of a better way to start the new year than to have some concrete ideas on how to help you develop stronger relationships with your donors and to help you find more joy in your work.
January 5, 2021
The Six Economic Realities of Major Gifts
You aren’t alone if you don’t fully understand the economics of major gifts and how it should work. Over the years, the Veritus team has run into CEOs and managers of major non-profits who didn’t get it either. In our opinion, this is just one of the reasons major gifts continues to elude non-profits… you just don’t understand the economics of it and how to be successful. That’s okay. Because in today’s podcast, Richard and Jeff talk about the Six Economic Realities of Major Gifts, which they write about in their new book, It’s Not JUST About the Donor. This lively discussion will give you the context for where major gifts should focus (donors), why you need to be patient (it takes time to build relationships) and much more.
December 21, 2020
The Donor-Facing Back Office
We often talk to leaders and managers of non-profits who tell us they’re leading a donor-centered non-profit. That’s great! But then we start asking questions: 1. Do you have a system set up to thank donors properly? 2. Do you have an infrastructure that allows you to get information on donor impact from the program side? 3. Does finance and program sit at the table with major gift officers to discuss donor offers? 4. Do you provide administrative support for your major gift team? Most often, the answer is no. In this episode, Richard and Jeff discuss why the “back office” of a major gift program is so crucial for success, and why a major gift program can’t succeed just on the backs of your front-line fundraisers.
December 8, 2020
The Biggest Barrier to Major Gift Success
What is the biggest barrier to major gift success? It’s a lack of leadership. It was this lack of leadership that inspired Richard and Jeff to write their latest book, “It’s Not JUST About the Donor.” And it’s the focus of today's episode. In this episode Richard and Jeff address this lack of leadership by outlining all the great leadership qualities they’ve seen where major gift programs are flourishing. Hopefully, you too will be inspired to take on these qualities that are absolutely necessary for success.
November 23, 2020
Dispelling the Myths about Major Gifts
There are many myths about major gifts out there that impede the growth of major gift programs. In fact, in Richard and Jeff's new book, It’s Not JUST About the Donor, they start out one by one dispelling the myths that they’ve heard from non-profit leaders over the years. In today's episode, Richard and Jeff talk about a few of these myths that, unless we bring them to light, either they have hurt or will certainly hurt your major gift program. Join them for a lively discussion and an opportunity to get this new book!
November 10, 2020
Equity in the Non-Profit Workforce
You probably intuitively already know this: women make up 70% of the non-profit workforce, yet there are huge inequities in pay and leadership positions for women. And the pandemic has made this even worse. Why? In today’s podcast, Richard and Jeff talk with Mazarine Treyz, a successful veteran fundraiser, consultant, author and speaker. They’re joined by Karen Kendrick, Veritus Group’s Director of Learning – and we'll get their perspectives on why we have this inequity, how it came to be, and what can be done to change it. We think you’ll be inspired by these two leaders, and we hope it gives voice to help make changes in the non-profit sector to raise up more women to positions of leadership and equal pay.
October 27, 2020
What is The Veritus Way?
You may be wondering what we mean when we say you really need to adopt “The Veritus Way” of major gift fundraising. The Veritus Way is simply the structure we apply to major gift programs, all in the context of building authentic relationships with donors. That structure includes: working with no more than 150 qualified donors in a portfolio, tiering those donors, creating a cash-flowed revenue goal and strategic plan (which includes knowing the donor’s passions and interests and communication preferences) for every donor and having consistent weekly meetings with management to keep the MGO focused and accountable. In this podcast Richard and Jeff talk to Patrick Nugent, Sr. Vice President of Individual and Organizational fundraising at Lyric Opera Company of Chicago. He has an incredible story that highlights how he’s used The Veritus Way in his career and at Lyric Opera, and what a difference it’s made for his organizations’ revenue. You’ll love his story.
October 6, 2020
Strategies to End the Year Strong
This year has been unlike any other, for major gift fundraisers. Your work has been completely upended. Yet here we are, heading into what will be the busiest and best giving period of the year. Or you hope it will be the busiest and best. There are so many uncertainties. You can only control what you can control – what you do with your portfolio between now and the end of December. In today's episode, Richard and Jeff share some tips and strategies on how you can end your year strong. Learn what you need to review, and the steps you can take now, to ensure that you make or exceed your revenue goals for 2020.
September 22, 2020
Fifteen Questions to Help You Go Deeper with Your Donor
Do you want to be a great Major Gift Fundraiser?One trait of all great MGOs is that they are curious people. That curiosity leads to developing authentic relationships. How often do you go to a dinner party or gathering, and you come back and realize no one has asked anything about you? This happens to us all the time. It doesn’t feel good. If you think about it, what a missed opportunity we all have by not being curious about one another. Unfortunately, this also happens with major gift officers. How well do you know your donors? Do you know their passions and interests? Do you know why they have them? In this episode, Richard and Jeff give you a little help by giving you 15 questions that will help you go deeper with your donors, toward developing real relationships with them.
September 1, 2020
Ten Ways to Get Rid of Your Donor
Do you want to get rid of the donors in your portfolio? We would hope not. Yet by the way many major gift officers are cultivating and stewarding donors, you would think they are. In this episode, Richard and Jeff outline ten different ways that MGOs are actively trying to get rid of their donors without even knowing it. Hopefully, you aren’t practicing any of these ten. In fact, if you’re doing the opposite of everything we say in the podcast today, you’re probably a pretty good MGO. Your work as an MGO, as you know full well, is to build authentic relationships with your donors. It’s not easy, but don’t make it harder on yourself by doing any of the ten things we outline today.
August 18, 2020
Should MGOs Get Bonuses?
Over the years, MGOs and managers have asked Richard and Jeff if they think MGOs should get bonuses if they meet or exceed their revenue goals. In today’s episode, they answer that question, and you might be surprised by what they say. They also discuss how non-profit leaders and managers should treat MGOs so that they’ll want to stay much longer than the average 1.8 years! Not only will MGOs stay longer if they are treated properly, but it will pay off with donors as they develop trust with the MGO and your organization.
August 4, 2020
Five Reasons MGOs Fail
As a major gift fundraiser, do you feel you’re being supported enough so you can be successful? Unfortunately, we run into many MGOs who are basically left on their own, without the support they need to build authentic relationships with donors. In today’s podcast episode, Richard and Jeff discuss the five reasons MGOs fail – and you’ll be surprised that most of the reasons have nothing at all to do with the MGO. We believe that the work of a major gift officer is one of the hardest in the non-profit sector, and that’s why we’re committed to providing you the resources necessary to help you be successful and find joy in your job. Because when you do, it’s the donor that wins!
July 21, 2020
What’s Wrong with University Major Gift Fundraising?
In most of the higher education institutions where Veritus Group has conducted data assessments, they’re performing terribly. What’s wrong here? Universities have resources. They have dozens (if not hundreds) of major gift officers, researchers, and stewardship officers. And yet what we find is that they don’t have real relationships with donors and alumni. Some of them are still raising millions if not billions of dollars… yet they could be doing so much better forming authentic relationships with donors and alumni! In today’s rebroadcast of an episode from January, Richard and Jeff talk about their experiences with university major gift programs, tell stories about their MGOs, what their challenges are, and ultimately what can be done to turn those programs around.
July 7, 2020
Now is the Time to Invest in Major Gifts
“You can’t be serious!” This is the reaction Richard and Jeff get from many non-profit leaders when we tell them NOW is the time to start a major gift program. Yes, even in the midst of uncertainty, your organization should either be starting or heavily investing in your current major gift program. Why? Because this is where you’ll eventually see most of your NET revenue come from. Need inspiration to do it? Well, in this podcast episode, our guest is Joyce MacDonald, the President and CEO of Greater Public Media. They’re the association for all PBS and NPR stations around the U.S. Joyce has a great story of how she identified public media’s need to create a real major gift program and what she did to make it happen – and she’ll inspire you to do it yourself! It was no small feat, but Joyce is making it happen.
June 16, 2020
The Sky is Falling!
If you just read the headlines from fundraising news publications, you’d think the sky is falling and revenue from non-profits is tanking. But is it? If you actually get past the “doom and gloom” headlines, you’ll read that giving is actually up in 2020 vs. 2019! What? Yep, giving is up. In this episode, Richard goes on a rant about the effects of these negative headlines, and he urges non-profit leaders to not succumb to them by not reaching out to donors. Then, he and Jeff give you some practical steps to reach out to your donors and ask. Why should you ask? Because they are giving!
June 2, 2020
Are All Your Eggs in One Basket? Diversifying your revenue streams
This pandemic has been a stress test for many non-profits. The biggest threat to the future of a non-profit in times like this is the lack of multiple funding streams for a non-profit. Today, those organizations that rely heavily on events, or corporate and government funding, are struggling. And non-profits that only rely on direct-response to bring in the majority of their revenue are reeling. Why? Because having a diverse array of funding streams, especially those who promote individual donor giving, will help you get through economic downturns. And as you know, we’re in a massive downturn at the moment. In this podcast episode, Richard and Jeff discuss why you need to diversify your funding, how to detect where you’re hurting, and how to create a plan to change it.
May 19, 2020
Forget Pivoting — It's Time to Really Change
Pivoting is good, but it implies that once we get back to normal, we just go back to what we used to do. Well, this pandemic is giving us the opportunity to not only pivot, but to permanently change. Change what? Change the way we evaluate MGOs and major gift programs. Richard and Jeff believe that the old metrics that most non-profits use to measure major gift officers perpetuates transactional giving. In this episode, Richard and Jeff discuss why we need to let go of the old metrics and suggest a few new ones that actually help major gift officers develop authentic relationships with donors. Isn’t that what major gifts should be all about? Find out what metrics every non-profit should evaluate that actually help you build relationships and go from transactional to transformational.
May 5, 2020
Planned Giving in a Time of Crisis
In this episode, Richard and Jeff are joined by Veritus Group's Director of Planned Giving Services, Bob Shafis. Bob will discuss with them why you should be considering several planned giving strategies now, and how to do it. They’ll also talk about the $2.2 Trillion Care Act that was recently enacted and how it will affect your non-profit. Join Richard, Jeff and Bob for an informative discussion and get inspired to use planned giving as a tool that will help you now in this crisis and well into the future.
April 13, 2020
Getting your Coronavirus Story Right and Asking
Do you know your organization’s coronavirus story? In other words, if a donor asked you how the virus is affecting your organizations mission would you know what to say? Our team at Veritus is worried that many non-profit leaders and managers haven’t figure out how the virus has really affected your mission. What potential shortfall are you looking at? What added services are you now providing that you weren’t before? What is all this costing you? In today’s podcast, Richard and Jeff specifically speak to non-profit leaders and managers about making sure you know your coronavirus story, what it will cost and urge you to boldly tell donors that story so they can help you weather the crisis. We are hearing things in our sector that disturbs us. “You shouldn’t talk to donors now.” “We need to pull back our fundraising efforts to allow people to deal with the crisis.” No. If you've built solid relationships with donors, you have their trust to reach out to them, find out how they're doing, tell your organization's story in this crisis and be able to ask for the donor’s help. Now is that time. We hope this episode inspires you as you continue to communicate with your donors.
April 8, 2020
Answers to Your COVID-19 Crisis Questions
In today’s episode Richard and Jeff give you an update on stories they're hearing from other major gift officers and start answering a number of questions from your colleagues about how you should fundraise, given this crisis we're all in. At the end of the episode we also direct you to our COVID-19 Resource Page and tell you about two new courses we've designed just to help you through this crisis and, because we don’t want cost to be a factor, we’ve decided you can pay whatever you can to take this four week, eight-hour course over the month of April.
March 26, 2020
Special Episode — How Should I Think about Fundraising in a Crisis?
You are now fundraising in an unprecedented time in our history. You may be worried, anxious or concerned personally and professionally. All those feelings are normal. Richard and Jeff have recorded a special podcast to help you think about major gift fundraising in a crisis like the one we face today. Both of them have been through multiple national and international crises and tragedy, and they have experience on how non-profits and major gift fundraisers should respond. We hope this special podcast is helpful in your work and gives you comfort that over time, we will get through this tough time… together.
March 19, 2020
The Importance of Administrative Assistants
As you know, the most important job for an MGO is to build relationships with their donors. How are you going to do that without administrative support? You can’t. We hear from so many MGOs who say they’re bogged down doing expense reports, handling travel details and entering information into the database. They’re doing so much admin work they end up having very little time to talk to donors! In today’s episode, Richard and Jeff talk about the importance of what an administrative assistant can do to support major gifts and how having one actually brings in more NET revenue for an organization. Yes, you heard that right: more NET REVENUE! Even better, Richard and Jeff interview a major gift officer, Frank Mumford, from the Greater Twin Cities United Way on how he uses an administrative assistant, what specific tasks he has that person do, and how it’s helped him work more efficiently and develop relationships with donors.
March 10, 2020
You’ll often hear that fundraising professionals are “jumping ship” every 1.8 to 2.3 years in search of something better. Quite frankly, the number one reason people quit their job is because they have a bad manager or leader as a boss. Today Richard and Jeff are joined by fundraising expert, author and writer of the popular blog, “Future Fundraising Now,” Jeff Brooks. Jeff has worked with hundreds of organizations and has some great stories and interesting observations about why we seem to have such bad bosses in the non-profit sector. Best of all, we come up with some great solutions to help you and your boss become better at what they’re doing. It’s far from being a hopeless situation!
February 25, 2020
The Spirituality of Major Gift Fundraising
Today’s podcast episode is a little different. We’re talking about the spirituality of major gift fundraising. No, we’re not talking about religion, but we ARE talking about how fundraising has a spiritual nature to it – not with a capital “S,” but with a small “s.” Richard and Jeff explore the mystical act that happens at the moment a donor gives, and the organization receives that gift. Find out not only why we think fundraising is a spiritual endeavor, but also how you can continue to keep your heart soft and focused on the need, so you can continue to help your donors find joy and fulfillment in their giving.
February 11, 2020
What's Wrong with Planned Giving?
In today’s episode, Richard and Jeff talk with Veritus Group's new Director of Planned Giving Services, Robert Shafis. Robert is one of the most knowledgeable, sought-out experts on planned giving in the country. And now he’s working with Veritus to help non-profits everywhere do planned giving right! Specifically, Robert highlights some of the main problems and misconceptions about planned giving, and what can be done to turn those problems into solutions. Then he offers everyone listening the opportunity to receive a free planned giving assessment.
January 29, 2020
What’s Wrong with University Major Gift Fundraising?
If you think universities have it all figured out with major gift fundraising, you’d be very wrong. In fact, at most of the higher education institutions where Veritus has conducted data assessments, they’re performing terribly. Universities have resources. They have dozens (if not hundreds) of major gift officers, researchers, and stewardship officers. And yet what we find is that they don’t have real relationships with donors and alumni. Some of them are still raising millions if not billions of dollars… yet they could be doing so much better! In this episode, Richard and Jeff talk about their experiences with university major gift programs, tell stories about their MGOs, what their challenges are, and ultimately what can be done to turn those programs around.
January 8, 2020
It's Good to Have Older Donors
Are you concerned that the donors on your file are too old? Are you scrambling to get younger donors? Don’t be. In major gifts and planned giving, the vast majority of your revenue will come from donors who are 55 and older. So why is everyone so enamored with younger donors? This episode teaches you why older donors should be the bread and butter of your major gift program – and why you shouldn’t be anxious about finding younger donors.
December 18, 2019
Is Your Manager Ignorant About Major Gifts?
This episode sheds light on some of the craziest misconceptions we’ve heard from leaders and managers about major gifts, and what you can do as a major gift officer to help educate them and set them straight. Major gift fundraising is too important to be left to folks who don’t know what they’re doing. There’s too much riding on your organization’s future not to know how a major gift program should be run correctly. Get inspired to help your manager or non-profit leader understand how major gifts actually works.
December 4, 2019
Do You Know the ROI of Your Donor Portfolio?
Most of the time, when we ask a major gift fundraiser what the Return on Investment (ROI) of their portfolio is, we get nothing but a blank stare – and then a look of panic. Well, you don’t have to panic. In this episode, Richard and Jeff talk about how to calculate your ROI. They tell you what’s acceptable for a new portfolio vs. a mature one. They discuss how it should grow over time, and they let managers and leaders know it takes TIME to develop. Then they list 12 reasons why there is low ROI in many major gift portfolios. Richard and Jeff go over what you can do to avoid these pitfalls so that you can realize net revenue and ROI growth, year after year.
November 13, 2019
Can We All Just Get Along?
To serve your major donors outrageously, you have to know your programs and projects so well that you’re able to inspire those donors to make a significant gift to your organization. The most effective and best way to do that is to get to know the people behind those programs. These are the program, finance, HR, and executive team that are passionate about your organization’s mission. In this episode, Richard and Jeff have some great tips for how you can do this.
October 29, 2019
Keeping Good Major Gift Officers
Major gift fundraising has a problem: MGOs are leaving their non-profits after only 1.8 years on the job! How can they build lasting relationships with donors that way? In this episode, Richard and Jeff discuss why people are leaving, and how managers can work with MGOs to keep successful, experienced staff intact.
October 15, 2019
Changing Your Non-Profit Culture, with Mark Rovner
In the last decade there's been a lot of talk about building a culture of philanthropy. But who's actually doing it? And what does it actually take to do it? In this episode, Richard and Jeff interview Mark Rovner, the founding principal of SeaChange and a much sought-after keynote speaker. Mark will give you some great ideas on how YOU can help change your non-profit’s culture, how to be effective in doing it, and how not to lose hope in the process.
September 24, 2019
Major Donors and Capital Campaigns – with Amy Eisenstein
Is your organization considering creating a capital campaign in the near future? Before you spend a bunch of time, energy and money on it, you have to listen to Richard and Jeff talk with Amy Eisenstein, the CEO and Co-Founder of Capital Campaign Toolkit. Amy has a unique approach to capital campaigns, one that could save you thousands of dollars if you heed her advice. She has some really good questions for you to answer as you consider whether or not you should start a campaign. She also gives you tips and advice for what not to do. Please listen closely and alert your CEO and board to what Amy has to say. It could be the best advice you get all year.
September 10, 2019
Discover Your Major Donors' Passions and Interests
Do you wonder what it will take to take your major gift program to another level? The answer is not about some new strategy or innovation. The answer to bringing more net revenue from your major gift program is to get to know your donors so well you know their passion and interests and why they have them. If you know those and why, you can match that up with everything your organization does to change the world. In this podcast episode, Richard and Jeff talk about your knowing your donor’s passions and interests; they have many stories to share that highlight why it’s so important.
August 29, 2019
Creating Compelling Donor Offers, with guest Tom Ahern
How do you create compelling donor offers that will result in gifts that are significant, or even transformational? In this episode, Richard and Jeff talk with legendary fundraiser, copy-editor and author Tom Ahern about how he helps clients reach donors and motivate them to action.
August 13, 2019
Using Technology to Connect with Donors – with Greg Warner
Have you ever thought it would be nice to be able to qualify, steward, and cultivate your donors in a more efficient, less costly way – all while using new technology? In this episode, Richard and Jeff talk with Greg Warner, the CEO and founder of MarketSmart. Greg talks about what inspired him to start his company and how hundreds of non-profits are using his software to help them connect with donors. You’ll notice immediately Greg’s passion for fundraising and donors. He wants to change how our industry views donors and help fundraisers do what they do best – build relationships with donors.
July 30, 2019
Inspiration for Major Gifts Work – with Frank Mumford
In this episode, Richard and Jeff will inspire you for major gifts fundraising with some great thoughts and ideas you can implement right now. They talk with Frank Mumford, a major gift officer with Greater Twin Cities United Way, who shares his experience and tells a story about how noticing "little things" can have a big payoff with your donors.
July 9, 2019
New Ideas to Cultivate Your Major Donors
Do you ever get in a rut about what you should be doing with your donors to cultivate them properly? Richard and Jeff hear from many major gift fundraisers who are just tapped out of ideas. Today’s episode is LOADED with new ideas for you to use when cultivating and stewarding your donors, all with the intent to help you understand their passions and interests – which will allow you to solicit your donors in a more meaningful and impactful way.
June 27, 2019
What Does It Take to be a Great MGO?
The job of a major gift officer is difficult. In this episode, we talk with Christine Tesmer, a major gift officer from Colorado Public Radio. We get insight into her success, what it takes and how she manages work and life. We also learn how her unique background in sales prepared her for her role as a major gift officer. Her story is compelling and offers great ideas for you to be successful in your role.
June 13, 2019
Why Do We 'Qualify' Major Donors?
Major gift fundraisers are going to get frustrated quickly if they focus on donors who don't want to talk to them. In this episode, Richard and Jeff tell you what it means to "qualify" these donors, so you're talking only to the donors who respond to the individual attention you want to give them. When your focus is on these receptive donors, you'll be more successful in achieving – and exceeding – your goals for their giving.
May 28, 2019
Current Donors Aren't Prospects: Thinking Differently About Donors
Major gift fund-raisers can slip into thinking of people as "prospects" even after they've given many times. Richard and Jeff examine this practice and encourage a different approach to these people who are already partnering with you to change the world.
May 8, 2019
The Major Gifts Pipeline, with guest Jeff Brooks
How do you keep donors moving from direct response giving, to bigger gifts, into your major gift program? Fundraising expert Jeff Brooks talks with Richard and Jeff about the major gifts "pipeline" and the best things you can do to keep, lift and move your donors forward.
April 24, 2019
Why doesn't the word "Annual" belong in a MGO's vocabulary?
Richard and Jeff kick off their podcast by discussing how donors give best – not as an annual duty, but as an ongoing response to their desire to do good in the world, through your organization. The "Nothing But Major Gifts Podcast" is a production of Veritus Group, an industry leader in major gifts fundraising. Learn more at VeritusGroup.com.
April 8, 2019