An Endorsement: Leadership Giving By Example

Author: Cedric Richner, CFRE

At a recent meeting with a campaign counsel client of Richner + Richner, the organization’s Chief Development Officer and CEO reported the following update: Their board chair recently committed $50,000 to the campaign, the CEO pledged $25,000, and the Chief Development Officer committed $15,000 – the largest gifts any of them have made to the organization.

There are several board members at the organization who are capable of giving at these kinds of levels, but have not yet done so.

Due to the excellent gift commitments from these three key leaders, the organization is now in a position to simply and elegantly challenge each of its board members to increase their giving: “Would you consider joining me at $__ for our campaign?” The exemplary leadership demonstrated by their initial gift commitments have already produced great dividends for our client’s burgeoning campaign.

Chess Game with Focus on the King

In the “inside-out-top-down” philosophy that is so important to launching effective campaigns, these stretch commitments created momentum that is rippling out among all of the other donor constituencies important to the organization. The message is clear: “This campaign is important. We are supporting the campaign at unprecedented levels, and you should, too!”