Any Nonprofit Can Rock Major Gifts with These 10 Secrets – Pt.2

Every nonprofit should have a major gifts program. Because that’s where the lion’s share of the money is.

It’s a rare organization that has a mailing list large enough to raise a million dollars from a million different $1 donors. But most nonprofits do have major donor prospects hiding in plain sight.

It’s up to you to find them; then move them along a cultivation path that prepares them – and you – to make an ask that results in a win/win values-based exchange.

Let’s review the full panoply of secrets that will guarantee your major gifts program is a success, whatever your size.

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Skyrocketing

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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symbolic rainmaking god

How to Build a Major Donor Program from the Ground Up

If you’ve got donors, then you have the raw material for a major donor program – and it’s easier than you think.

Begin with your own database.

Most organizations have plenty of donor prospects, without having to go outside and look for prospects who aren’t connected to you.

You know who I mean. The people your board members tend to suggest to you. Folks who may be rich, and may even be philanthropic elsewhere, but don’t have any interest in what you do. And no one knows them or can make an introduction to them.

Don’t start with the most out-of-reach prospects. You can be a major donor prospect rainmaker without having to go outside or reach too far.

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Are you reading your major donors right?

Are You Reading Your Major Donors Right?

Last year I had the opportunity to present a major gifts master class where Jay Love, Founder and President of Bloomerang (and a board member and major donor himself) offered his thoughts on major gifts development from the donor’s perspective.

Since I’m constantly encouraging you to come at donor development from a donor-centered perspective, I want to share his viewpoint with you.

Not surprisingly, major donor development begins and ends with the same thing.

Can you guess what that might be?

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Major Gifts Tricks and Treats – Halloween Nonprofit Blog Carnival

The Halloween Nonprofit Blog Carnival is back, offering tricks and treats galore from a Witches Coven of nonprofit experts – all good spirits who’ll help you find, cultivate, solicit and steward your major donors.

You like to trick and treat at the houses that give out the most candy, natch?  Well… let’s find the donors giving out the most goodies, so your mission is assured of a heapin’ Halloween sack filled with success!

And let’s get you prepared! We don’t want you showing up without a costume, or lacking a thoughtful plan of attack that takes you through the “good” neighborhoods. Sure, you might get some lollipops and chewing gum. But what you really want, I dare say, are the Snickers bars and Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Go for what you need.  Go for what will make your time spent on this effort feel worth your while.

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6 Nonprofit Strategies to Raise Money Like "Mr. Wonderful"

I could just say (1) prepare, (2) prepare, (3) prepare, (4) prepare, (5) prepare, and (6) prepare.

Did I mention that you really need to prepare?

Essentially, this is the meta-message of Shark Tank’s “Mr. Wonderful,” Kevin O’Leary, to would-be entrepreneurs seeking to get spots – and funding – on the television show. And the same advice holds true for nonprofiteers seeking investments from major donors.

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Nonprofit Blog Carnival Call for Submissions: Tricks or Treats – How To Get and Sustain Major Gifts

I’m majorly S C R E A M I N G with delight to be hosting this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival!

So majorly, in fact, that the subject this month is TRICKS or TREATS How To Get and Sustain Major Gifts?

Tell us your tricks – the ones that work!

  • Do you HAUNT prospects through a series of managed ‘moves’?
  • Do you fly in on a BROOMSTICK and just drop in spontaneously?
  • How do you put them under your SPELL?

Tell us some treats – ways you wow your donors!

  • Smile like a JACK-O-LANTERN every time you think of them; then figure out a way to let them know?
  • Give them lots of virtual CANDY (seriously, do you use social media for any part of your major gifts strategy)?
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4 Guaranteed Ways to Research Major Donor Prospects

Know what to look for and where to look!
Know what to look for and where to look!

MAJOR GIVING.

It’s one of those terms nonprofiteers bandy about freely within the grand scheme of things to be devoutly wished for.

But precisely what constitutes a major gift, and where are they to be found? These can be difficult to pin down for your particular nonprofit.

You have to know (1) what you’re looking for, and (2) where to look.

Today I’ve asked an experienced prospect researcher, Ryan Woroniecki, Vice-President of Donor Search, to give us some practical major donor prospect identification guidance. Ryan, please take it away!

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