Three Things for a successful Major Gift Executive to avoid

The first point is to avoid taking short cuts. I have worked with dozens of executives over many years and those who take the easy way out don’t raise the finance. Instead of following up on people who showed an interest they fail to pick up the phone and follow up.

Instead of seeking an appointment they fall back on sending letters.

Instead of sending a personally designed email to a prospective donor they fall back on sending the same repetitive email to a significant number on their donor list.

The second point is to avoid the ‘convenient’ times to make phone calls. There is no ‘good time’ to make a phone call. I often hear examples of an executive stating specific times to make calls that are convenient for them, instead of trying the not so convenient times of first thing in the morning, lunch time, late afternoon and the 6.00 pm – 8.00 pm evening slot which generally render better results.

Lastly, the successful executive avoids using out of date programme information. It is the smart executive who goes out of their way to keep current with their organisation’s activities and beneficiary stories that in turn bring energy and excitement to every phone call. They are hot on the tail of programme leaders to keep up with the latest news and stories and are able to translate that buzz into their phone calls. These are the successful executives.

Ruth is the principal and founder of Ascent Philanthropy, author of two books and passionate about helping non-profits with their major gift programmes by offering advice for introducing a new major gift programme or enhancing the productivity of the philanthropy team

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