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major gifts Tag

Customer Success Manager at Blackbaud Canada

julie beckettAh, the life of a jet-setting Major gifts officer.  Calgary one week, Cornwall the next! Working with donors from across the country has its perks, but it certainly also has its challenges. I reached out to Julie Beckett, CFRE, who is Manager, Fundraising at Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada to ask her what her top 5 pieces of advice would be to Major Gifts Officers with national portfolios.  She’s been at the Co-operative Foundation for over 5 years, and many of these tips have become second nature to her. For context, Julie manages approximately 1500 donors across Canada, and she’s travelling approximately once a month. And boy, does she pack in a lot of things on those visits! 1 Know the issues going on at the local level

jen laurette“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”  ~ William Bruce Cameron, Sociologist

Guest post by Jen Laurette, Associate Director, Development and Alumni Relations at  Queen's University

Let’s start with the None at All. For various reasons, some organizations avoid using performance metrics among their fundraisers and instead take an all-hands-on-deck approach to collectively reaching the organization’s overarching goals.  I have worked for organizations that employed this approach - whatever you raised was seen as a win. While this can feel great, the lack of direct accountability can lead to status quo becoming the norm.  While staff retention was strong and we functioned as a team, who’s to know how much we may have been leaving on the table. Let’s move to the Good in Theory. 

This month I gave my most meaningful gift ever. And because the gift felt special to me, I have been reflecting on why I give.  I asked myself: Why now?  Why this amount?  Why is it meaningful to me? Maybe it’s all this talk about vulnerability, but I am ready to share with you my personal thoughts on Why I Give. By listening to my reasons, I hope it will help you understand why your donors give. It’s very simple:

The Dinner Party. It was a social fixture in the ‘60’s, but in the last few decades it has lost some of its allure. If you are a not-for-profit development officer, read on: there are some really good reasons why revitalizing the dinner party can lend meaningful support to your organization. The best story I have ever heard about hosting “home turf” dinner parties was shared with me by my friend, Kate Jaimet, a writer and journalist here in Ottawa. She was hired by the Chelsea Club - a women’s club for Ottawa’s high society ladies - to compile a mini-history of the organization. The interviews that Kate conducted shed enormous light on how networking happened in Ottawa high society during the past few decades. Here is the story of one of her interviewees.

Mr. and Mrs. Dick Bell

Mrs. Ruth Bell, now 92 years old recalled how her husband, Mr. Dick Bell, an elected Member of Parliament, had a long list of friends, supporters and fellow parliament members that he needed to “spend some quality time with.”