Thursday, July 18, 2013

INSTANT REPLAY - Young major gifts officer confident she can get donation from family of man-eating trolls

Hey there. It's summer and we're taking some time off. In the meantime, here's a few gems from previous years. Enjoy.

The Manglers

Dibble Brewer, a new major gifts officer with the Snidely Hospital Foundation, says she’s confident she will be able to secure a large donation from Sid and Shelly Mangler, a family of man-eating trolls who have devoured several of her predecessors.

Brewer, 27, was hired by the Foundation a month ago. Brewer has impressed everyone with her drive, ambition and confidence. She quickly moved up to the top level of donations for the Foundation’s capital campaign.

“I know what I want,” said Brewer. “I want to be the best fundraiser in this Foundation. I’m a great people person. I know how to charm people. I can network like no one else. That’s why I’d be perfect for this ask to the Manglers.”

The Manglers run a very successful toll bridge company in Metro. They collect thousands of dollars in tolls every day from people who want to save 20 minutes on the commute from East Metro to Downtown. The tolls, which range from a dollar to ten dollars depending on which troll is on duty, are voluntary. However, those who refuse to pay are often eaten by the Manglers, who like to display the heads of previous meals on pikes near their toll booth.

The Foundation identified the Manglers as potential signature donors several years ago when the campaign was in its quiet phase. Several attempts to engage them in hospital functions failed. Calls and invitations went unanswered.

“It took me just a few seconds to understand that our approach to the Manglers was all wrong,” said Brewer. “These are community leaders and here we were sending them direct mail letters and calling them to make a $100 donation. No wonder they didn’t give anything. That was insulting.”

The Foundation sent two previous major gift officers to call on the Manglers. One never came back. The other did, but in pieces. Brewer says she wasn’t surprised.

“I looked at the research we used to make the first two asks. Pitiful. A kindergarten class could have done a better job figuring out what these trolls were interested in. All this research shows is that they are man-eating trolls. One look at the human skulls they use as jewelry and anyone could have figured that out,” she said.

Brewer did her own research, concentrating on Shelly Mangler. She learned that when not working at the toll bridge, Shelly often spends her time cooking in her dark, forbidding castle home in East Metro. When Brewer discovered that the hospital was about to open a “Kids kitchen” as part of its pediatric wing, she had her ask. The project involves letting sick kids cook their own meals in a supervised kitchen. 

“I found the perfect hook to get the Manglers – cooking. So, I called her and asked her to be a part of the Kids Kitchen advisory board. She said she’d love to help cook kids. That was easy. Now, I’ve been invited over to lunch today to speak to her and Sid Mangler about recipes. That’s when I’m going to make the ask.”

Despite advice from her more seasoned colleagues that she should begin the relationship with the Manglers with a modest ask, Brewer says she’s going to hit them with request for $100,000 – double what her target was.

“I know people and I know fundraising. My colleagues are losers. They keep on saying these Manglers will eat you and use your skull as a coffee mug. Wimps. It’s no wonder that the campaign has been faltering. There’s money on the table here. I can smell it. I’m going over there. I’m going to ask for twice what the target is. And I’m going to get it,” said Brewer confidently.