#83 | Should we consider commission-based compensation for major gift officers?

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This certainly tops the chart of questions that get some fundraising professionals really stirred up. Even the mere suggestion of commissions and other performance-based incentives will quickly get you tossed out of some clubs. Just like Travis, I too have been in a conference room where some brave soul dares to suggest that commissions could be part of a solution to our turnover problems.

As was evident in our conversation, Travis has given this some serious thought and recognizes the implications such a decision might have. He understands the ethical dilemmas that surface when we place incentives on large gifts, and he has contemplated how this might effect relationships with donors.

I, myself, believe that some ethical codes do little more than guard the status quo; and I’m not sure major donors would be all that resistant to the idea of commissions if asked. As Travis suggested, I don’t believe these types of questions have been sufficiently wrestled with to ensure our motives are in the right place. I commend him for sharing his thoughts and look forward to hearing what others have to say.

If you’d like to register for the next stop on the How Fundraising Really Works roadshow in NYC on Thursday October 10th, go to www.lewisfundraising.com/events

Jason Lewis