Keep Sacred Your Time with Prospective Donors

Whether you’re running a small, medium or large fundraising organization, you can probably identify to one degree or another with Jennifer Nicely’s dilemma.

She wants to preserve as sacred the time she spends with prospective donors – “because ultimately that’s what you’re here for.”

Yet, as president and chief development officer of the five-person Memorial Health Care System foundation staff in Chattanooga, Tenn., she also wants to preserve her seat at the table of the system’s executive management team. Understandably, she worries that missing too many meetings will diminish the power of philanthropy within the system, but acknowledges the “amount of time spent on true fundraising, true donor development, gets sucked away and sucked away.”

But distractions from the main thing ­­are not isolated to small staffs. Read more


Real Stories, Real Lessons for Fundraising Professionals

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be bringing you “Tales From the Front.” Each short “Tale” will have one primary lesson – quick and easy to digest.

Many “Tales” will spring from our interviews with foundation leaders, such as the foundation president at a tiny hospital in Canada, experienced an “Aha!” moment years ago, leading to a new approach for winning doctors over for a grateful patient program. Or see what kind of response a Tennessee hospital got from physician-led tours – including tours of the OR during open-heart surgery.

Some “Tales” will come from our own work, with people and places suitably disguised. But the composite portraits we draw will come from real problems, such as those experienced by “Joseph,” who had to justify to his board a needed staff increase so he could focus more on major gifts.

We hope you’ll join us on the journey.