Every industry has employees who are naturally better suited for their positions than others. After 30 plus years of assisting fundraisers of all types all over the world, I can assure you that the nonprofit sector is no different. Many fundraisers are perfectly placed in the ideal career for their talents, but a larger percentage than you might think are probably in the wrong profession.

Major gift fundraising, in particular, requires “extroverted people lovers.” It requires an outgoing personality, a love of building and nurturing relationships, having personal, one-on-one conversations regularly and no fear of the ask.

Yes No QuizThe Quiz

Try the following five statements regarding daily preferences out to see where you might fall in the spectrum of “perfect career fit” down to “what was I thinking.”

1. I always reach for the phone to place a call rather than doing anything on my computer.

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

2. I prefer making a gift “ask” rather than planning an event.

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

3. I strive to exceed revenue goals rather than reducing expenses in a budget.

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

4. I love reaching out and involving board members in fundraising rather than editing a grant proposal.

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

5. When I look ahead on my calendar every breakfast and lunchtime slot is filled with major gift prospects and donors.

[ ] Yes

[ ] No

Tabulating the Results

If you did not answer “yes” to at least four of the five statements above you should ask yourself if you are really going to be happy or satisfied in a career of major gift fundraising.

If you answered “yes” to less than three of the five statements and you are involved in fundraising in any manner, you should consider some proper training and perhaps making sure someone on your team can answer to all five statements with a resounding “yes”.

Finally, if you are like most of the great major gift fundraisers I have had the good fortune to meet around the world and can answer with a “yes” to all five questions then smile widely knowing you in the perfect career for you. In fact, I am betting you already are enjoying outstanding success for you and your organization!

Let us know your results in the comments below. Do you think we missed any important points or questions?

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Jay Love

Jay Love

Co-Founder & Chief Relationship Officer at Bloomerang
A 30+ veteran of the nonprofit software industry, Jay Love co-founded Bloomerang in 2012. Prior to Bloomerang, he was the CEO and Co-Founder of eTapestry for 11 years, which at the time was the leading SaaS technology company serving the charity sector. Jay and his team grew the company to more than 10,000 nonprofit clients, charting a decade of record growth. Prior to starting eTapestry, Jay served 14 years as President and CEO of Master Software Corporation. MSC provided a widely used family of database products for the non-profit sector called Fund-Master. He currently serves on the board of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and is the past AFP Ethics Committee Chairman. Jay is also the author of Stay Together: How to Encourage a Lifetime of Donor Loyalty.
Jay Love