Development officers are in the business of selling, right? So, what are you selling?
The most ineffectual officers are selling themselves. Development folk of average effectiveness are selling a project, a building, a program, an initiative, or a campaign. The above average officers are selling institutional mission and vision.
But the truly exceptional development professionals are offering donors experiences which promise to enrich their lives. These hallmark life experiences are designed to artfully educate donors and affirm the deep joys of giving. Exceptional development professionals embrace the fact that giving is good for the giver – in all ways. And they view their purpose as providing more people with opportunities to experience this goodness.
Truly exceptional development professionals are not selling anything at all. Selling is focused on the transaction, on the exchange. Instead, the exceptional professionals among us are focused on sharing the value of a particular approach to life: that it is, in fact, better to give than to receive.