At 52 years of age, I have wondered aloud why I waited until now to write my first book. I suppose the answer is that I have never seen a need for such an endeavor. My approach to work has always been practical, so it was not until I saw a problem that needed to be solved that I became motivated to write. I’ve seen way too many new development officers struggle to get appointments with new prospects. Once the relationship had been established, it wasn’t nearly as hard to continue cultivation and even ask for a gift, but hoo boy — that first meeting is a bear. Setting up and conducting the discovery call was easily my most difficult challenge when I started in major gifts fundraising 15 years ago.
“Opening the Door to Major Gifts: Mastering the Discovery Call” (April 2013) will make its debut from the publisher Charity Channel Press, which I am delighted to work with. It started with a list of questions that were provided to me by my former boss to be asked during a discovery call. It slowly grew into a manual of tools and techniques dealing with letter writing, using the telephone and voice mail and a myriad of other methods needed to set up and execute the identification call.
The outpouring of support from the non-profit community has already been tremendous. I’ve been blessed to receive endorsements from some great fundraising professionals, including Gail Perry, Guy Mallabone, Harvey McKinnon, Laura Fredricks and Bruce Flessner. Very flattering and a high bar to live up to!
As I said, I really wrote the book in response to a direct need that I saw. I believe those in the development world will agree with me about the need.