Are you in Development or in Sales?

Are you in development or in sales? Fundraisers ask this perennial question as they raise money for non-profit organizations. Recently, a senior corporate business development leader highlighted major similarities between development and sales:

  1. In development and in sales, we have to bring solutions to our clients and donors. Those with good listening skills bring the sale to a close.
  2. Sales has targeted sales plans that track revenue from clients; development plans yield gifts from donors.
  3. Validated sales bring new  revenue to the sales team while new pledges bring in new income to a non-profit agency.
  4. We strive to convert new sales into ongoing sales while in development we move first time donors into annual giving.
  5. Metrics are key  in both areas. In sales we quantify substantial meetings that move a sales forward, in development we constantly monitor our pipeline. How many proposals do we have that can yield results in the short and long-term?
  6. In sales, marketing determines opportunities while in development, research provides key donor data.
  7. In sales, we track time spend with customers while in development we track visits.
  8. Sales teams track velocity- how many days did it take to close the sale? Development teams track the number of interactions that occur before we make an ask.
  9. In sales, we check signed bids while in development we look at signed gift agreements.

Since there are so many similarities, why is development different from sales? Development professionals believe that their task often involves selling an emotion that sometimes will not fall into a progressive, well-documented, predictive closing system. Do you think this is true?

Global Corporate Gifts Get a Definition

If you are a recipient of  a corporate gift from a Fortune 2000 company at the global level, read the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) guidelines.  CECP’s “The Global Guide to What Counts,” for the first time defines eligible charitable donations across borders. International tax professionals at Deloitte rigorously examined tax laws and related conventions of 17 countries to find out what makes up a charitable gift.

They concluded that any recipient of a corporate charitable gift must meet the following criteria:

  1. The recipient must be formally organized, meaning it should be recognized as a legal entity in the country where it is headquartered. Individuals and ad hoc groups that lack structure are ineligible.
  2. The recipient must exist for a charitable purpose, meaning charity should be its primary purpose. The Guide excludes political parties, business and professional associations, unions and religious entities, except those that fund charitable activities that fall under CECP guidelines.
  3. The recipient must never distribute profits, meaning it should reinvest in achieving the organization’s mission.

The Guide addresses a uniform definition of what constitutes a corporate charitable gift. The yardsticks are similar to those proposed by large Foundations in the United States. However, a standardized check list for charitable entities seeking global corporate gifts is very useful. It creates a level playing field, sort of United Nations for recipients seeking charitable corporate gifts across borders.

The Global Guide tactically avoids religion, politics, labor unions, associations and chambers of commerce. Some of these indulge in corrupt practices, especially in developing countries. However, it offers broad flexibility in defining a recipient of a charitable gift and gives a larger degree of latitude for charitable entities to compete for corporate gifts. Religious organizations that have far-reaching impact on grassroots philanthropy are given some opportunities to seek charitable gifts.  The complete guidelines are available here.