You may be asking yourself, why should I work with a major gift coach? Check out this article written by our founder and president, William Myatt:
Why Hire A Coach?
Major gift fundraising is hard. It’s a solitary endeavor. I still remember the word that was often used when I was introduced to my first major gift fundraising job – “entrepreneurial.” What my coworkers were signaling to me in the use of that term was the fact that, in order to be successful as a major gift officer, I had to be self-motivated. I was given a portfolio of major gift prospects, a regional territory, and a fundraising goal. And my supervisors said, “go.” Then I would go days, sometimes weeks, without much interaction. It was up to me to figure out the processes, rhythms, patterns, and practices that would eventuate in my success.
Working directly with a major gift coach gives you a built-in accountability structure. We will put our meetings on the calendar. You will have homework. We will set goals. And you will have a series of deadlines staring you in the face. And if you’re like me, you need deadlines. I’m most motivated to get things done when I know someone will be checking on me. In a nonthreatening, collaborative manner, I can provide the relational structure you need to get your major gift fundraising program off the ground.
I’ve been a full-time major gift fundraiser for seven years, and I’ve been in the nonprofit space for all of my adult life and much of my youth. I’ve organized multi-faceted fundraising campaigns, and I’ve worked as a supervisor to major gift officers. In all of my fundraising roles, I’ve met or exceeded the goals set for me by organizational leadership, sometimes setting records at the places where I worked.
By entering into a coaching relationship with me, you will have access to a partner who can look critically at the way you are spending your time, how you are prioritizing your activities, and what strategies you are using to find the best major gift prospects. I’ve seen fundraisers spend their time wisely, and I’ve seen many fundraisers waste their time on frivolous activities. In our calls, we will look carefully and critically at your strategies, and you’ll have access to the processes I’ve used to see significant success. And you just might find yourself significantly advancing the mission of the nonprofit where you work.
Trial and Error
A healthy coaching relationship gives you a sounding board for trying out new ideas. I’ve found that the difference between consistent, successful closing of gifts and inconsistent, unsuccessful fundraising can often be a simple matter of knowing what to say and when to say it. In my work with major gift officers, I will often require them to try out their ask on me before getting on the call or stepping into that Zoom meeting with a donor. Sometimes a simple turn of phrase can help disarm a donor and allow them to see the actual value they could add to your organization. Forcing yourself to squeeze out a manufactured ask won’t do you or the donor any good.
As we move together through the phases of cultivation and solicitation, we can work on better and worse scripts you can use to present a compelling ask to your donor. We will work on better and worse ways to initiate a call with donors. We’ll try out various pre-approach strategies. Working the kinks out with me gives you a clearer path forward when it comes time to pick up the phone and call.
The upshot of all these activities is confidence. Donors can see through your trepidation. And if you’re not confident in your ask, they won’t trust you. You don’t want to come across as pushy. That won’t work either. But you should be able to speak confidently, patiently, authentically with your donors about exactly why their gift to your organization is one of the most important philanthropic decisions they can make all year. Speaking through your strategy with a major gift coach will go a long way in giving you the confidence you need to make a compelling ask when the time is right.
Attending a course on major gift fundraising is a great idea. I’ve learned a lot in the classroom. (And I know a lot about the classroom. I was in school well into my thirties!) But there is a difference between learning while sitting behind a desk and learning while on the job. Signing up for ongoing coaching calls will give you the opportunity to try out your ideas in real time. We will complete each session with clear tasks for you to do between our meetings. You will try those out then come back to our next conversation for feedback and thoughts. And we can tweak those strategies.
In a classroom, you’re most likely going to be learning passively – taking notes, listening to a lecture, reading a book, or watching a training video. Those are all great, but there is something substantially different – and more lasting and meaningful – about learning in the work you do through a coaching relationship. The regularity of our meetings will provide a structured feedback loop to enable you to do your very best work.
Fundraising courses are expensive. They can cost your nonprofit literally thousands of dollars for just a few days of learning. My cost structure is designed with your nonprofit in mind. I charge competitive fees that will not break your organization’s bank. You will get direct, one-on-one attention for a fraction of what you would pay to attend a fancy seminar.
I don’t want to jinx our partnership here, but I can say with confidence – based on my own track record of successful fundraising – that if you follow my advice, if you commit yourself to following the systems and processes I will help you understand, you will be set up for fundraising success. Nobody but short men in fairy tales can spin hay into gold. I can’t promise you that. But I can promise you access to sustainable processes that result consistently in real revenue for you and your organization.
If you’re up for the challenge, then let’s get started. Contact us below:
Schedule a Consultation
Our founder is William Myatt, a theologian-turned-fundraiser who has found his niche in the world of major gift fundraising. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Bill by contacting us today.
A fresh approach to fundraising.
During this incredibly unique time, we need a movement that reminds us of the irreducibly human nature of philanthropy. We will partner with you and take a personalized, collaborative and targeted approach to help you reach your fundraising goals.