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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Major Gifts Tricks and Treats – October Halloween Nonprofit Blog Carnival

 

If either your askers or your givers leave the room looking like this, you’re doing something wrong!

FEAR not! The Halloween Nonprofit Blog Carnival is back, offering TRICKS AND TREATS galore — from nonprofit experts all around the web –to help you find, cultivate, solicit and steward your major donors.

When you trick and treat, you always like to go to 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 success.

You’ve got to be prepared! No just showing up without a COSTUME or a thoughtful plan of attack that takes you through the “good” neighborhoods. Sure, you’ll get some lollipops and chewing gum. But I know that’s not what you really want.

Go for what you need.  Go for what will make your time spent on this effort feel worth your while.  We’ve got a WITCHES’ COVEN full of experts telling you exactly what to do!

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October Nonprofit Blog Carnival Call for Submissions: Tricks or Treats – How Do You Get and Sustain Major Gifts?

Scream Pumpkin
H E L P! I need major donors!

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 Do You 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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The Heart of Effective Major Donor Development: It’s Not Money

The heart of major donor development is customer service
The heart of major donor development is demonstrating impact and showing gratitude. Continually.

Everyone wants to develop a major gifts program. Or to strengthen their existing major gifts program. Why? Because they want to raise more money.

If you approach major gifts development solely from this perspective you’ll ultimately fail.

You might raise more money for a little while. But over the long-term you’ll lose more support than you gain. Because it’s not just about money.

Successful, lifelong major donor relationships are about two things:

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9 Amazing Secrets You Need to Get a Major Donor Meeting

Did you know you’re 85 percent on your way to securing a gift if you can get your prospect to agree to a visit? So says veteran major gifts fundraiser Jerold Panas in his iconic book, Asking. He also says, “If you want to milk a cow, sit by its side.”

But … how do you get the cow to cooperate? Ay, there’s the rub.

Why is it so hard to get a visit with a prospect?

It just is. People screen phone calls. They don’t answer emails. They’re busy. And, let’s face it, they know what this is about. Once you get in the room with them, you have your chance to win them over. But how to get there?

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