#65 | How do we navigate through fundraising's messy middle?

It’s one thing to hear someone like Michael say that he enjoys his work because he is passionate about higher education. It’s another to hear him explain how he cherishes the relationships he has forged with donors and to acknowledge that these individuals are more than a funding mechanism for the institution. Like most of my guests, Michael has evidently found fundraising to be very meaningful work.

Much of our recent podcast conversation revolved around how to navigate the messy middle between a donor’s initial gifts and their most significant gifts. I believe the best fundraisers rely on an intuition that enables them to quickly determine whether a relationship is going anywhere, and it’s up to their boss to determine whether they can trust this intuition by not insisting that their employee come back to the office with a check every time.

I really appreciated Michael sharing some insights that he gathered at a recent CASE conference where VPs were evaluating the candidacy of major gift officers for new roles and insisting that this type of experience doesn't happen overnight. These VPs explained that they don’t even look at MGOs who haven’t been around for five years because it reveals that they haven’t effectively experienced what it really means to do major gift work.

Jason Lewis