Today I am challenging you to “think big” and set a goal to attract at least one new major donor before the end of the year. I want you to see how easy it can be to up your game in the major gift space and raise significant money with just a little more effort.
What is classed as a major gift will vary from organisation, to organisation. The actual dollar amount does not matter, only that the donation you attract is significantly higher than the most common donation to your organisation. For a small charity this might be $500 for a larger, more established one, $50,000.
If you need some help to get started, remember the 4 P’s – prospects, proposition, personal-approach and perseverance – and follow these simple steps.
- Pick your prospects. If you are already engaged in major gifts we suggest you focus on your top 10 prospects. Otherwise you will need to create a prospect list. Start by looking at any donors who have made large donations in the past. Also look at lower level donors who may have the capacity to give more. Pulling a list of donors in premium suburbs/areas serviced by your organisation is a good place to start. Loyalty is another good indicator of the propensity to make a major a gift, so also consider donors who have regularly given medium-level gifts.
- Determine your proposition. If you are conducting an end of year appeal, try to identify a stand-alone project within or related to the area you are raising money for. Major donors don’t just want to contribute, they want to play a pivotal role in solving a problem. For example, if your appeal is raising money for emergency assistance, you could propose a major donor support a particular family with compelling circumstances. Whatever proposition you choose.
- Make a personal approach.If you are going to succeed at this challenge, it is absolutely essential that you make the time to approach prospects personally. Ideally you should meet face to face, but a phone-chat would also be acceptable. Not only will this increase your chances of securing a major gift, it will also help you get to know your donors better and gain valuable feedback on your fundraising approach.
- Have perseverance! Finding a major donor is like finding a spouse. You may need to “date” a few people before you find someone who shares your interests, values and goals in life. The aim is to find a natural and genuine connection where the donor feels comfortable and confident to make a significant commitment.
Join the challenge here and go in the draw to win.
If you decide to take up this challenge, please let us know how you went. I will be choosing three participants to receive a FREE one-hour de-brief and mentoring session to put your major gift fundraising on the fast-track to success in 2016 and beyond.
In the meantime, if there is anything we can do to assist you, please do not hesitate to call us on 1300 721 799 or send us an email