Do we have to accept that gift?

October 30, 2018 at 3:49 pm Leave a comment

You Didn’t Say That?!? Oh yes they did!

This is an interesting fundraising question. It comes up more often than you may think. As fundraisers our job, and the one we are most measured for – is asking for and receiving gifts.

Then there are moments……

You’ve deployed your best fundraising moves management and the donor (individual, corporate or foundation) is ready to make “the gift”. It’s a big one. It lifts the culture of philanthropy at your organization. The fundraising goal for the year will be closer and it was a big one too – but you had a strategy and your plan is working.

When you share this great fundraising news with your leadership, their response is,

“Do we want/have/need to accept this gift?”

“Can they make the gift to another organization or in another way?”

WHAAAAAT? You didn’t say that?!?

We know this happens in fundraising for a few reasons:
• Donor reputation
• Donor recognition opportunities
• Risk tolerance by the organization
• Internal jealousy or threat
Maybe you have a few to add to this list.

Getting ahead of this issue WAY BEFORE “the ask” is key to fundraising success, your professional reputation and job satisfaction.

  1. Share this potential gift early and often. Make sure leadership is paying attention and hears you because if you get the response above they aren’t really listening because they don’t believe fundraising will be successful or the gift will happen.
  2. Have gift fundraising acceptance and recognition policies in place. What is required to accept a gift? What recognition is allowed? What kind of approval is necessary? Is your leadership willing to follow these policies? Will leadership advocate for board approval if required?
  3. Determine if leadership actually believes philanthropy is a priority or worth paying attention to – because they’ve set an unachievable goal without your input (another sign) and will put roadblocks in place to make sure fundraising efforts fail.

Entry filed under: Fundraising, Nonprofit fundraising. Tags: , , , .

Moving Fundraising Forward

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