On Becoming a Giving Consultant

I may not know your organization specifically, but I know something about your donors:  The top donors to your organization give to other organizations as well.  They have various philanthropic interests.  And with well over 1.5 million non-profits registered in 2009 (an staggering increase of 33% in the last decade), there is more competition for your donors’ gifts than ever before.

So here is the question:  What added-value can you offer your top donors so that your organization stays at the top of their increasingly competitive list of charitable opportunities?

I suggest you work at becoming less of a Development Officer and more of a Giving Consultant.   A DO is tasked with raising the funds necessary to “develop” the organization.  The DO’s title focuses attention on the organization, not the donor.

A Giving Consultant has a different focus.  A Giving Consultant helps donors work through their charitable gift choices and make wise decisions about how to give in alignment with their values and interests, creating outcomes they would like to witness for their community and world.

Instead of bringing a case statement to your next meeting with a donor, think about bringing a Values Inventory Worksheet.  Instead of telling donors about your latest program or the new building you wish to construct, think about how you can facilitate a process of exploration which will make their giving more satisfying and joyful.

When we get to know our donors in such an intimate way, we can add exceptional value to them and for our organizations.  And adding value builds and strengthens relationships and, ultimately, increases the likelihood of generosity.



  1. Thanks for your comment Jack. I know that you and the team at the Foundation for Evangelism are always working with this premise in mind. Best wishes for continued good results!

  2. Very good advice! Even though it is important to go into every donor visit with a hoped for outcome that will further the mission and vision of your organization it is better for the organization, and the donor, in the long run, for you to help connect the need that the donor has to give to something meaningful with the needs of the world.

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