The Honoree/Organization Balance


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As a fundraiser and event planner, one of the most promising moments comes when a client secures a corporate honoree (Chair and Chief Executive Officer of a global corporation). With this development, the organization is ready to implement a strategic fundraising campaign to meet, and exceed, the income goal.

Throughout my career, I’ve learned there is a delicate balance that must be maintained when working with a corporate honoree. It is equally important for organizations to acknowledge honorees also have expectations. This unique partnership can benefit both parties now and in the future. Today I am pleased to share some additional insights to add to your toolkit:

  1. Corporate honorees have great influence but do not come with an open checkbook. As leaders, they understand what is needed and are committed to supporting the fundraising campaign. As you enter into this process, please keep in mind support can take many forms, among them: (a) a one-time lead gift, (b) a multi-year sponsorship or (c) a one-time lead gift coupled with a pledge to secure additional support from their networks.
  2. Corporate honorees are careful with their investments; they take pride in knowing their resources (time, money, key personnel) add value to the bottom line. Corporate leaders will expect the organization to remain true to its mission, deliver on its promises and take an active role in fundraising.
  3. Corporate honorees are busy and their time is limited. Communication generally takes place via the honoree’s designee; an executive-level manager who works closely with Chair and Chief Executive Officer. Please honor and work within this structure.
  4. The organization should always work to strengthen its relationship with the corporate honoree. When appointing a staff member to work with the honoree’s designee, please select a senior manager who has good interpersonal skills and understands corporate etiquette. This will go a long way to building a lasting relationship after the event.
  5. The organization must be quick to say thank you and acknowledge all gifts, large and small, that come from the honoree’s efforts.

As always, I am here to support your efforts in any way that I can. For information, please visit If I can be of assistance, please reach out to me at

With kind regards,

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