10 Strategies to Skyrocket Major Gift Fundraising

Skyrocketing“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.” So wrote Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland.

It’s the same with major donor fundraising, except you don’t ever really stop.  You just start up again. You do follow a prescribed path, however.  And here’s what it looks like:

  1. Before
  2. Ground Floor
  3. Explore
  4. Back Door
  5. Adore
  6. Mentor
  7. Ask For
  8. Implore
  9. Rapport
  10. Report

If you do this correctly, it becomes a transformational process for the donor. They want to stay connected and engaged and invested.  Which is why you don’t stop.  You follow up with “Some More.”

But first…

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S’WOT’s Up? The Future, That’s What: Your Crystal Ball for Business Success

Hand-held Crystal Ball

The reasons I love SWOT analyses is they’re all about looking at the present to divine the future.  And leaders need their crystal balls to:

    • Identify trends,
    • Anticipate change,
    • Be open to possibilities, and
    • Enable more effective, impactful work.
Sounds good, yes? But, let’s face it, it often seems easier to stick with the status quo. Crystal ball gazing and divining is not so easy. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.
Taking an honest look at what’s working/what’s not working can be a very liberating thing for an organization to do. Once people agree on what’s not working, there is a freedom to abandon time-consuming processes not yielding substantial results or significant satisfaction.  This opens up whole new possibilities for allocation of resources, and can be a very exciting time within an organization.

Leadership is key!

SWOTs help leaders prepare for the future systematically and strategically. We’ve a lot invested in doing what we’ve always done. It takes courage and determination to ask the hard questions that break us out of old patterns and ruts. A structured approach can help.
A good SWOT gets all the stakeholders engaged in moving forward strategically.  A good SWOT is not static.  It’s a multi-step process.  If you’re not familiar with a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats), this is what it is in a nutshell:
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Important News about Relationship Fundraising: Stop Losing Donors

Broken Heart
Do you know how you may be breaking your donor’s heart? Keep it up, and they’ll break yours.

This is important.

It’s about a report that may change how you do fundraising.

It should.

Let me explain.

Unless you’ve been asleep at the wheel, by now you should know most nonprofits have been hemorrhaging donors for over a decade.

By tending to focus more on expensive, staff-intensive acquisition strategies like direct mail and special events, charities are bringing in one-time donors who never give to them again. It’s why I focus so much on donor retention strategies and exhort you to make them your priority strategy.

Why? Because otherwise all your acquisition efforts are wasted. The latest Fundraising Effectiveness Project Report  revealed an astounding 81% of first-time donors lapse. [BTW: This isn’t the report that’s going to change your modus operandi; it’s merely the rationale for the release of the report that will. Keep reading.] Of repeat donors, 39% lapse. For every 100 new donors acquired, on average nonprofits lost 96 existing donors.

“Over 70% of people that we recruit into organizations never come back and make another gift, so we’re caught on this treadmill where we have to spend lots of money on acquisition which most nonprofits lose money on anyway, just to stand still.”

– Professor Adrian Sargeant,
Director of the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at Plymouth University

This is the proverbial three steps forward, two steps back – only worse!

This burn and churn strategy is killing nonprofits — and burning out the folks who work in them.

Why is it that for profits manage to retain 94% of customers, yet there’s such a huge disparity when it comes to nonprofits?

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