Not long ago I interviewed a major donor for a faith-based institution.
I asked her about her perception of the advancement team’s effectiveness. She was complimentary of the team and then said, “they need to be gentle, and push harder.”
As we continued the interview, I asked more about what she meant. She shared that the team was professional, appropriate, kind, thoughtful, and gracious. But, in her estimation, they sometimes didn’t ask enough. Or ask for enough.
She went on to tell me that, in her opinion, the institution was uncommonly valuable. The mission was incredibly meaningful and transformative for many people over the decades. The work was too important not to engage donors and invite significant gifts consistently.
She believed in the institution. And she believed in the team and liked them. She just wanted to see more urgency from them. More enthusiasm for inviting others. More proposing bigger gifts. More expecting generous responses.
Be gentle. Push harder.
A good reminder.