Boosting Major Gifts Is A Matter Of Timing

Is your staff not reaching your major gift goals? Don’t fire them – not yet at least – according to Laura Fredricks, expert fundraiser and author of “The Ask: How to Ask Anyone for Any Amount for Any Purpose.” Fredricks gives five tips on how you can manage your staff better to raise the gifts your organization needs. 

  • Time management. Meetings do not translate into work. Try to limit meetings to only the essentials. “You have a lot of people to see and cultivate out there – and time is not running on your side,” Fredricks wrote. Multitasking might be great along the lines of walking and talking, but try to focus your attention on one job at a time. And, protect your time. Make clear times available for your staff to come to you with questions. 
  • Clear and measurable goals. You need to give your staff goals they can attain. Let them know what you expect and try to create a uniform review every few months to make sure they are meeting those goals. Don’t just attach dollar signs to progress. You can measure success in face-to-face donor contact, meetings and event attendance. 
  • Be cross-functional. Teach your staff different skill sets that can utilized if someone is out of the office. They will enjoy learning something new, and if something unexpected happens, there is someone who can pick up the slack. 
  • Risk management. You don’t want to be pessimistic, but preparing for the worst can help you if that time ever comes. Think about what would hinder your operations — law change, disaster, and a surge in employees leaving — and plan ways to manage those risks. Creating an action plan now can help minimize the risks if that situation ever comes up. 
  • Communicate and demonstrate staff members’ value to the organization. All the players are integral for playing the game – and make sure they know that. Employees want to know what is expected of them and their opinions matter to the organization. And, you need to remind them of that.