Remember the Manager, the Prime, and the Asker.
Those three roles exist in every major gifts relationship. Go ahead, think about one of your donors. Who is the Prime? Who is the person your donor best relates to, is most comfortable with? Who does your donor think of most often when he or she thinks of your organization? Who do they like to hear from? Who do they like to see?
Who is the relationship with?
It may be you. Or your boss. Or the CEO, board member or faculty member. Figure it out. And make sure that person understands. It’s a big responsibility.
Now, who is the Manager? You are. The fundraiser is. Always. Never the CEO, never a board member.
The Manager remembers the birthday, makes the get-well card happen or the phone call to say, “How are you doing, I miss you!” It may not come from the fundraiser but we make sure it happens.
I want to know the fundraiser understands the difference between the Prime and the Manager and that the fundraiser has the role of Manager as their number one priority. Number one.
Who’s the Asker? Who’s the person who will make the Ask happen and hopefully, the person whom it will be the most difficult for the donor to say No to.
Notice the order of those two criteria, above. First, who will get the Ask done. Clearly the Manager has a role in this but ultimately, who’s going to get that ask done, and done WELL.
As we’ve written many times here in the past, the best person to make the Ask will very often be you.
Take the time to figure out these three relationships with each of your major gifts donors and prospects.