Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Major Gifts & Capital Campaigns Course Wrap Up

From Steve Byers, Instructor

At the outset, I told the students that this wasn’t merely a class on major gifts, this was a class about life. The skills that make someone a successful major gift fundraiser are skills that make people successful no matter what they do for a living.

Being a good listener, for example, doesn’t just apply to meeting with prospective donors. Being a good listener is beneficial in developing any meaningful relationship, whether it is romantic, platonic or collegial. Persuasive speaking and writing, which are fundamental to major gift fundraising, are helpful in just about every other endeavor you could undertake as well. And understanding what motivates people will not only help you obtain major gifts, it will give you important insights in virtually every aspect of your life.

I don’t know how many of the students will go on to become professional major gift fundraisers. But I am confident that learning and practicing the skills that are covered in this class will have value for them wherever their career paths lead.

Here's what student, Janice Taylor had to share about Steve's class ...

"Instead of just lecturing about elements involved in asking for a major gift, we were able to demonstrate it. We not only used our writing skills in designing a case statement and understanding our prospects, but we actually practiced making the personal ask. This exercise was very beneficial. Videotaping it and learning with practice was just what I needed to give me confidence that I can do this."