The Glorious Arena of Fundraising: Interview with Mike Perkins
Mike Perkins, President and CEO of Heroic Media
In this episode, Andrew visits with Mike Perkins, President and CEO of Heroic Media about his career, what he has learned about fundraising and ministry along the way and how he came into his current role with Heroic Media.
- Mike began his career as a youth minister but was asked to help with fundraising projects along the way. When he was discerning how to support his growing family and remain in ministry, he received two invitations in the same day to consider working as a development officer.
- Mike considers that his passion for ministry and his ability to articulate the needs and opportunities well were characteristics that other people saw in him and made them think he would succeed.
- People sometimes equate philanthropy and sales but Mike believes they are very different. He never “pitches” prospective donors on giving to an organization, but he presents opportunities to support. Mike always believes that he works on behalf of the benefactors even more so than the organization.
- Mike believes that if development officers choose their organizations wisely, they will be presented with opportunities to move up in the nonprofit world and eventually become leaders and even president.
- Mike’s first job in development was with Texas Wesleyan University. Later, Mike worked for Audubon Texas, the University of Dallas, Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA), Petrus Development, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) and now Heroic Media.
- Mike is a graduate of the Philanthropy and Development Masters Program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He recommends that development officers can get a great list of books to read by contacting graduate programs in development and asking for their recommended reading list. Mike specifically suggested:
- Mike encouraged young development officers to remember that it is easier to raise $1M from someone who can afford it than $1,000 from someone who cannot. Too many young development officers have a fear of approaching people with wealth and instead only focus on their close network. This can become self-defeating because they never build the confidence that comes from soliciting large gifts from individuals.
- Mike expressed that the real joy of fundraising is getting to know your benefactors so well that you can offer them an opportunity to make a gift that is as life-changing for them as it is transformational for the organization.
- Mike has been President and CEO of Heroic Media since March 2018 and is very excited about his new role. He is most excited about the fact that through his work, he is saving the lives of babies today.
- For reading materials, Mike suggested the following books:
- Achieving Excellence in Fundraising by Hank Rosso
- Conducting a Successful Capital Campaign by Kent Dove
- Designs for Fundraising by Harold Seymour
- Relationship Fundraising by Ken Burnett
- Give to Live by Douglas Lawson
- Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
- Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
- Woman Clothed with the Sun by John Delaney
For more information about Mike Perkins and his work and to connect with him, visit: https://heroicmedia.org/
Giving to religious causes vastly exceeds any other category in the nonprofit sector, but faith-based organizations often struggle the most with fundraising effectively. Join Andrew Robison, President of Petrus Development, as he explores this topic through honest and revealing conversations with church leaders, executive directors and development professionals from the nonprofit community.
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