Major Gifts Guru Tom Wilson outlined 10 ways to re-energize a major gifts program, starting with spending time where the gifts comes from.
Quoting Peter Drucker, Wilson said, “Effective knowledge workers do not start with their tasks. They start by finding out where their time actually goes. Then they attempt to manage their time and to cut back unproductive demands on their time. Finally they consolidate their ‘discretionary’ time into the largest possible continuing units.”
Often, he said, development officers spend too much time on special events and not enough time cultivating donors.
“Use special events strategically,” he said. That often means presenting just one “fantastic” event, not several during the year. The “net-net goal” of that event should be $100,000 or more, he said. “Net-net” is gross revenue minus expenses and salary and benefits of staff and volunteers.
Wilson’s “10 Ways”:
- Spend 80% of your time where 80% of your money comes from
- Use special events strategically
- Utilize your senior management team
- Help every board member play a role
- Create a donor community
- Never lose a donor
- Make your case
- Meet your donors face to face
- Be a fearless, gentle asker
Wilson’s PowerPoint presentation is saved here.