Philanthropy happens in person, not at your computer

When getting started in Major Gifts, don’t be ashamed of starting small.

When I first started as a Development Officer in Dallas, I barely knew anyone, and I didn’t know where to begin.

I should have been scheduling visits with people currently in our database, but no one taught me how to do that effectively.

I decided to go where I knew people: New Orleans.

My grandma hosted a small in-home event at her house.

We raised less than $1,000 that night.

That event in itself was not hugely successful, but it was a first step and it led to other events and more visits for me to go on.

Most of the time, I wasn’t meeting with people of significant capacity, but I was honing my skills and gaining experience with lots of visits.

When you’re first starting out, just go and start seeing people in whatever way you can.

Gain experience and have an enormous amount of activity.

Eventually that will lead you to visits with people of significant capacity and by the time you’re meeting with them you’ll have the benefit of having gone on dozens of visits beforehand, which will make you more effective.

Go out there and start seeing people!


Kevin Fitzpatrick is the owner of One Visit Away, a consulting business helping leaders of nonprofits schedule more and better visits with their benefactors.  Kevin’s goal is to help fundraising professionals constantly seek to deepen their relationships with their benefactors.  After all, you’re just One Visit Away from growing your mission and your impact.  


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