Cheryl Self & Les Kline: Major Gift Fundraising Part 2


“It’s extremely important that the vice-president supports the management team that he or she has put in place.” -Les Kline

Today, I’m continuing my conversation with Cheryl Self and Les Kline.

Our topic for discussion today is major gift fundraising.  Cheryl and Les have spent their careers in the field of major gifts and both rose through the ranks from Major Gift Officer to Chief Development Officer.

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“I always see the good in people and, things are half-full and I want to make it work. So I have to be very careful [when giving someone a second chance].” -Cheryl Self

Show Notes

[1:18] – What are some words and phrases that describe a good Chief Development Officer? Les shares his thoughts.

[4:19] – Cheryl elaborates on Les’ answer on what defines a good Chief Development Officer.

[5:52] – The value of encouragement. 

[6:42] – This is the trick to managing geographically diverse teams.

[9:27] – Cheryl explains what goes through her mind when giving someone a second chance.

[11:31] – We hear an example of a time Cheryl wasn’t able to give someone a second chance and opted to cut ties instead. 

[14:06] – This is what comes to mind when Cheryl thinks of the most effective team she led.

[17:45] – How does Les spend a long career at two organizations without getting recruited away?

[20:30] – We learn what ultimately pulled Les from World Vision to Wycliffe. 

[21:31] – Cheryl reveals how she knew it was time to leave World Vision.

[23:45] – These are some of the long-term relationships that have ended well.

[26:33] – Closing conversations, in Cheryl’s experience, shouldn’t yield any surprises or shocks.

[29:44] – The greatest gratification is to have a donor thank the organization for giving them the opportunity to make a difference.

[30:56] – What counsel would Les and Cheryl give to the next generation of nonprofit leaders?

[33:50] – Tommy concludes the conversation.

“​​I got into a larger pool of things and found opportunities coming my way, where I could be of help to a number of different organizations.” -Cheryl Self

Links and Resources

JobfitMatters – Website

JobfitMatters – Podcast

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