Welcome to my website! I hope you find what you're looking for here and benefit from my unique perspective. I love hearing from many of you and learning myself from your experience.
The focus of my consulting and work has been teaching and advancing Major Gifts Prospecting. I am familiar with all aspects of Development but my passion and what I enjoy doing the most is showing nonprofits of all sizes the powerful fundraising hiding in their own donor bases and communities.
I generally break this into two categories:
- I help large established development teams improve and systematize their Major Gifts prospecting.
- I help small and medium-sized nonprofits build Major Gifts programs from scratch.
Thanks Again for visiting let me know how I can help!
What I Offer: Prospecting Training and Consulting
Armando E. Zumaya
Let’s raise some big gifts!
My philosophy is simple. Great prospecting leads to great individual major gifts. It leads to continual growth and new opportunities. It is the antidote to stagnant fundraising.
I believe in empowered Prospect Research and Management staff synced up with a well-trained Development Officers of all types. Too many Development Officers don’t know how to get a first appointment with a prospect and shy away from them, let alone getting an appointment with a major philanthropist. Few Prospect Researchers are empowered to be leaders and help guide the fundraising efforts of their institution. I train both to find these skills and come together.
From my 31 years of personal experience being a development officer and training/consulting with hundreds of Development teams across the US and Canada I have seen a dramatic difference once these often disparate staff’s come together and prospect effectively.
How do you know your team is effective at the vital task of prospecting? Here are a few questions to ask yourself as a development leader.
- Did a $1,000 donor of yours make a $1,000,000 gift to another institution and you didn’t even have she/him in a Major Gifts portfolio?!
- Are you reaching all the demographics in your donor and community base?
- Is your institution there first when an alumni or donor gains wealth, starts their philanthropy or is another institution?
- Is your fundraising growing at a normal and effective pace?
- Do you find yourself on the “prospect merry go round”? Always talking about the same people year after year.
I am a veteran of 31 years as a development officer and I have been a CDO, VP and Director of Major Gifts. This has given me the experience to spot the strengths and weaknesses in a development team. I can spot the nuanced aspects of personality, structure and systems that effect you’re prospecting and fundraising. Whether its 6 staff or 150. I have visited hundreds of development teams across the country in my career. From small startup nonprofits to seasoned Ivy League machines.
When you contract for a Prospecting Assessment I will visit and interview your teams confidentially. This includes your leadership, Major Gifts Officers, Annual Fund, Prospect Research and Prospect Management Officers. This usually takes one or two days. Some can be done on the phone but a face to face visit and walk through an office is usually advised.
The deliverable is a document that will allow you to see an outside perspective on your prospecting structure’s strengths and weakness. It will suggest a clear course of action and will fit with suggested trainings and coaching services I offer. If I determine that your prospecting structure is effective and needs little change I will also be clear with that determination. Contracting for an assessment doesn’t automatically lead to more trainings/coaching’s.
I have a set of very unique and highly effective trainings I have been improving on over 15 years. These trainings have been developed by analyzing the weakest spots of prospecting in even advanced and seasoned development teams. Commonly development officers have trouble getting the first appointment, making a clear qualification and they have trouble reaching difficult to reach HNW prospects. Also it’s very common to find an institution where the events don’t support prospecting.
- Cold Calling and Prospecting for Development Officers
- The Art of the Qualification/Discovery Meeting
- Dynamic Prospecting Events for Major Gifts Prospects
- Creating a Powerful Development Officer/Prospect Researcher Relationship
Once training is completed a proven practice that might be appropriate is follow up and offer confidential coaching for all staff. This will also help to advance and solidify the training into the organizational culture. I like to create an informal Professional Learning Community (PLC). Too often Best Practices in development teams are not shared or known. The PLC helps break down walls and creates a team spirit around learning and succeeding. I will devote scheduled hours to talking to your staff and counseling them and helping them succeed. I will help by phone in the convening of the first few PLC’s and let staff take leadership over them later.
My trainings are designed to leave behind structure and cultural change that your staff can take over and lead.