Start With Heart

The Secret Power of Emotion to Catalyze Fundraising Results
  • 1. Auflage
  • |
  • erschienen am 16. Dezember 2020
  • |
  • 200 Seiten
E-Book | ePUB ohne DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-1-7341044-1-7 (ISBN)
Start with Heart is for any development professional in search of fundraising mastery. This brief, but meaningful book shows the crucial connection between emotional intelligence and success (yes, it can be learned!) while providing the tools to build joy, purpose and story.
  • Englisch
  • 1,10 MB
978-1-7341044-1-7 (9781734104417)
THE FOUNDATIONS A NEW FRAMEWORK In Start with Heart, I share three basic principles that too many of us in the fundraising field have either forgotten, neglected, or never learned in the first place. These concepts carry the power to transform the way you raise money. But before we dive in, I'd like to share some hard truths that all of us in the fundraising space face today: Fully 93 percent of the fundraising pie comes from major gifts. While high-tech analytics, wealth-screening tools, and tracking mechanisms can be useful, they are never the catalysts that bring in major money. Already strained by competing demands, government funding for nonprofit organizations and higher education will continue to shrink in the foreseeable future. After years in the trenches of academia as a director of development, vice president, and college president, I now work shoulder to shoulder with leaders in nonprofit organizations and higher education to help them raise the bar of fundraising. Every day, my team and I go to work developing strategies and helping to implement them for a variety of clients from small nonprofits to major universities. EMPATHY IS NOT AN EXTRA I can say without equivocation that the transformation of your development office will occur when you and your staff learn to start-and stay-with heart in every facet of your work. It takes imagination, empathy, and the ability to forge a heartfelt connection to the donor to bring in a gift, especially one that is transformational in scope. While many development professionals may give lip service to this concept, too few advancement offices consciously create a culture fostering emotional intelligence. Making a fundamental shift to heart-based fundraising will send ripples throughout your office, to your board members and your donors, as well as to all the constituents and communities you serve. When you get this part right, transformative results are bound to follow, allowing you to raise more money and impact more lives. If you've never tried the start-with-heart approach, don't berate yourself. It took me a long time-decades-to learn and fully embrace the fundamental truths that inform it. But once I did, I came to understand that this piece is closer to the "secret sauce" for our profession than any other I know. I can say without equivocation that the transformation of your development office will occur when you and your staff learn to start-and stay-with heart in every facet of your work. One episode early in my 22-year tenure as president of Georgetown College in Kentucky stands out as a personal and professional turning point, an epiphany that fundamentally reframed my thinking about how to approach major gift fundraising. My development team and I had done extensive research about a family that was an excellent and qualified prospect for a $10 million philanthropic investment in the college. Aligned with our mission and deeply committed to the college, the family had a history of making six-figure gifts. The cherry on top: all of their children were alumni. We arranged an elegant dinner at a private club for two generations of the family along with our foundation board chair, someone whom they knew and admired. The chair and I presented a detailed picture of Georgetown College-where we were and what was needed to take this sleepy college in the Bluegrass Country north of Lexington to the next level. Complete with compelling visuals and pie charts, we showed how an unrestricted gift of that size could reinvigorate-if not reinvent-the college by funding several initiatives. These included endowment funding, scholarships, and long overdue capital improvements. The family listened attentively, posed intelligent questions and nodded approvingly. When the time was right, we made the ask. As husband and wife departed, hand in hand, the husband said, "We'll let you know in two weeks." The chair and I were elated, confident that success was imminent. The next day, I began drafting a press release. Then the answer came back: No. At first, I couldn't believe it. I rehashed the dinner, the conversation, the camaraderie and even the dessert. Nothing there. During this reflection, however, a single image kept returning: how the husband's eyes never strayed far from his wife's. Then it dawned on me: the evening and the ask had been all about Georgetown College. Not about the family, its priorities, or what Georgetown could do for them. My thinking started to shift. I knew the patriarch loved the college and trusted me. I wanted him to know that his decision didn't hurt our relationship. A series of informal, one-on-one meetings took place over the course of the next several months. This time, I made sure to ask different questions and listen deeply. He shared his deep passion to help the underprivileged, just as he had once been. I focused on what brought him joy. Flying his plane was at the top of his list, especially when he could ferry sick children to hospitals to receive special care. I watched how he cared for his employees. And there could be no doubt about how much he loved and admired his wife. After the next few months, which brought a fundamental understanding of the man and his motivations, the time had come to offer a new proposal. I felt more in synch with him this time. "I would like to ask you to name our new library and learning center after your wife," I said, painting a picture of what this investment would mean to his children and grandchildren, the entire Georgetown community, and especially first-generation college students. I pulled out an architectural mockup of the building in which her name was prominently featured. After my pitch, I paused, searching his eyes. He stood quietly for a while, turning the idea over in his mind. Then he said, "I'll do it." On the spot, he committed a seven-figure gift to name the new learning resource center after his wife. At that moment, I internalized a profound lesson of fundraising, one that I've never forgotten: It's all about the heart. To be successful, you need to make a live connection and touch the heart of the person who can write the check, transfer the stock, and green-light the initiative. The difference between the two meetings was simple. The first failed attempt was all about Georgetown; the second successful ask was all about the donor! From that day forward, I coached my staff at Georgetown-and every one of my clients since-that the institution and its needs are important but secondary. Rule No. 1 for any ask is that the focus of your proposal be all about the donor. It's all about the heart. To be successful, you need to make a live connection and touch the heart of the person who can write the check, transfer the stock, and green-light the initiative. THE BRIGHTDOT APPROACH At BrightDot, we have developed and refined this simple but powerful approach, building upon the other-orientation of this early success story. The work begins internally, helping our clients discover or reconnect with the joy and meaning of their work. Then we move toward clarifying their "why" and that of their staff to gauge alignment with the organization and its mission. We make sure that the right people are in the right roles, and we bring this clarity of purpose and message outward to help clients grow a culture of deep connection and engaged philanthropy. We help create environments where donors benefit from philanthropy just as much as institutions benefit from their largesse. Our clients become partners in this work, while their donors become partners in the circle of success. Everyone wins. In several cases, thanks in part to our coaching and guidance, our clients have pulled in the biggest gifts in their history. Our approach isn't complicated but it can be a challenge to adopt for development teams schooled in more traditional, institutional-based methods. When the tools provided in this book are taken to heart, development staff and other team members become more engaged in their work, happier, and more creative, productive, and successful! Laying the groundwork for change sets you up for success. THE THREE PRINCIPLES We have identified three key components for transformational change in your organization's development team that will pay dividends in the end. All revolve around emotional intelligence. When followed, they give you the ability to reconfigure your fundamental thinking about raising money. You will learn a new approach to donors, just as I did around the learning center gift for Georgetown College. I'm not suggesting that our method will convert every "ask" into a win or that bad days will never again happen. But I am saying that by adopting these core principles, you will jumpstart a new and more effective strategy for yourself, your team, and your workplace culture, leading to greater success. The crucial components, which I share in three main sections in the book, are: No. 1. Find the joy and introduce it into the workplace. Joy is a crucial component in the development office. Think about it: philanthropy is voluntary. Donors may put up with a...

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