Keys to a master fundraiser’s success

by Dan Schipp at Johnson Grossnickle Associates |

During my years at JGA I have had the opportunity to work with several score development officers. When it comes to effectively soliciting gifts, there is one who I would put at the head of the class. This individual wishes to remain anonymous, so I’ll refer to him as “Joe.”

A donor once said of Joe, “He’s not flashy or pushy, but he is persistent and he gets the job done.” Joe, by the way, successfully solicited three seven-figure gifts from this donor . . . for one campaign!

Recently I sat down with Joe for a conversation about how he approaches inviting gifts for his organization and why he feels he has done so well at it.

The first thing Joe said to me was, “You can’t have an ego. You can’t be in it for yourself. The mission of your organization must be primary.” I heard the words of Hank Rosso, the founder of The Fund Raising School, echo in Joe’s response: “When you are knocking at the door of the prospective donor, you have to kick your ego aside and let your cause – its mission, vision, and values – walk into that home.”

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