old man, major donorMr. Jackson was a gruff old man, who’s wrinkles could tell the story of his long, adventurous life. Each line told a story of hard work, family-rearing, and costs he paid to love God, family and his country. He had lost his hearing years ago, so communication for him was difficult. Although he was humped over a little, he got around fairly well with his cane. He loved his dog (I think better than his 2nd wife). And he was a major donor to good causes. Here's how my first major donor phone call went with Mr. Jackson.

My Major Donor Relationship with Mr. Jackson

“Mr. Jackson?” I had to yell into the phone for Mr. Jackson to hear me. I introduced myself, several times so that he could piece all the introductions together to know who I was, where I was from, and why I was calling. We were both frustrated. Once we got past that initial bump, this donor and I had wonderful conversations…in writing! We would discuss his heart’s desires and how some matched with the ministry’s vision. Mostly, I would get to hear his wonderful stories of a life well lived.

In his messages, I could feel his pains and fears, yet hear his joys and hopes. Over the course of many months, we built a good friendship. I had asked for about a year to give him a tour. Finally, Mr. Jackson said he was coming on-site to see me. He was engaged as we yelled to each other. Staff would peek to see what the noise was about, as Mr. Jackson and I laughed and walked. 

The ROI - Major Gifts and More

The Return on the Investment of my time into Mr. Jackson’s life is more than the major gift (actually, several major gifts) after this relationship was built. I was able to honor and respect this precious man that God allowed to be philanthropically part of our ministry. Hebrews 10:24 tells us to "consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds". What a privilege we have to love and care for donors so much so that they are provoked in love and good works.

I could give you charts so you could capture development ROI, but God’s measurements of these relationships are eternal.

Find out more about how you can grow your ROI in Major Gifts by downloading our whitepaper “Abundant Harvest”>>