Message-from-Viken-Mikaelian

A Letter from Viken Mikaelian

To All My Clients, Future Clients, and Friends, When things do not go your way, remember that every challenge—every adversity—contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth,” writes Roy T. Bennett in The Light in the Heart. To say that the last year-plus has presented challenges for the philanthropy world is the very definition of an understatement. Nonprofits across the country have been forced to close their doors. Others might not make it through 2021. Meanwhile, the need for nonprofits has risen sharply, driven by the pandemic, natural disasters, and a host of other challenges that seem, at times, never-ending. But if you know me, even just a little, you know that I don’t like to dwell on the negatives. So instead, I want to say thank you, and congratulate all of you for your perseverance and successes. You made difficult—sometimes impossible—decisions, worked harder than ever, and continued to make the world a better place despite having the odds stacked against you. If that’s not grace under pressure, I don’t know what is. And it’s thanks to all of you that we have been able to grow as well. While we certainly lost some opportunities because of the challenges, we were—in keeping with Bennett’s advice—able to nurture quite a few seeds until they grew. Here are just a few of the things we were able to accomplish in 2020:
  • Gained nearly 100 new clients and scores of new projects
  • Filled hundreds of online orders, added a wealth of content, and packed our seminars
  • Assembled a top-notch board of advisors for Major Gifts LLC
  • Improved client relations
  • Maintained a COVID-free office
  • Added more A-listers to our superior team of employees
  • Made no layoffs
  • Kept salaries steady for staff
An even bigger milestone, though, was our decision to expand in a new direction. There’s a growing demand for blended gifts, and for good reason: blended gifts are more natural and donor-centric and can substantially increase the impact of a donation, for both the donor and the nonprofit. With that in mind, we now incorporate major gifts language into our marketing materials. And to better support you, we’ve added even more ways to help you grow as gift planning and major gifts officers:
  • We acquired MajorGifts.Com and are building a massive library of courses, events and downloads (some courses free for clients; several others highly discounted such as The Planned Giving Boot Camp)
  • We launched a new monthly newsletter, Major Gifts Today online
  • We continued to enhance our groundbreaking magazine, Giving Tomorrow
  • We established Planned Giving Wiki
As for the rest of 2021? We’ll continue to work toward your success, and to a much better year for everyone. Here’s to prospering together. Yours in Hope,

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