Book Recommendations for and by Development Professionals

Every January I endure the same self-analysis as the majority of Americans. I look at potential areas of self-improvement and decide—no, resolve—to make changes. One goal always seems to make my New Year’s resolution list: to read more. Reading is like working out. No matter how much you don’t want to do it, you always […]

Common Donor Objections and How to Deal With Them

A presidential debate, a fight with a spouse, a meeting with a donor—in the heat of the moment, it can be difficult to keep your wits about you and steer a conversation down the right path. No matter the circumstances, though, you need to be prepared for objections before the conversation begins. This is especially […]

Listen and Learn: How to Handle Donor Feedback on the Frontline

I have a good friend who works in the development office of one of the world’s leading universities. Several years ago, he was meeting with young alumni in an effort to raise money for the annual fund. (All people and places will remain nameless is this retelling.) One of those alumni, who had been recommended […]

Understanding and Overcoming Donor Silence

During my first month as a major gifts officer at Providence College, I was fortunate enough to secure a visit with a consistent donor who had a high-level finance job at an international firm. The qualification visit went well. He and his wife love their alma mater, and some of their closest friends are major […]

Fiscal Year Planning for the Major Gifts Officer… Where to Start?

For most gift officers, the summer months can be slow. Our donors are away on vacation, meaning they’re less likely to respond to our emails and calls, let alone meet with us. So, what can you do over the summer (besides use your own precious vacation days)? In my personal experience, the summer months are […]

The 3 Types of Visits Every Gift Officer Should Have

The one-on-one visit is the foundation on which all gift officers build sustainable relationships with donors. Visits can jumpstart a relationship between a donor and a nonprofit or bring current engagement to new levels. They also allow a fundraiser to gain valuable insight into a donor’s motivations, aspirations, and outlook–which can be more difficult to discern […]