Is your organization in a revenue-sharing arrangement, like national/affiliate partnership? If so, you probably have stories like this one. Local fundraiser tells donor “please don’t give more than $4,999 because if you do the national office will swoop in and steal you.” That was from the ACLU before they worked out a brilliant sharing formula. Sometimes the locals have all the power, like at NPR. Fundraisers from the national office are forbidden from soliciting gifts from donors who are committed to local stations. Please describe to me how a donor could be interested in NPR and not in a local station. Crazy, isn’t it? And sometimes it’s just a food fight, with local, state, and national offices of the same organization competing for the same gift.
If your plan for collaboration is based on some kind of we’re-all-in-this-together hope that everyone will share nicely, forget it. I can guarantee there are a lot of fundraisers out there who didn’t get the memo. There are ways to make sure that it is in everyone’s best interest to do the best job of donor cultivation and stewardship possible. As Tina Turner sang, “What’s nice got to with it?” (Or something like that.) You have to make sure that everyone benefits from a larger gift, no matter which office gets the check. Call me if you want to talk about how to make it work.