Monday, August 22, 2011

Management Tip: 3 Ideas For Transformative Major Gifts

It's the constant question for all nonprofits: How do I get a donor to give a major gift?  They are the engine for nonprofits, yet it can be intimidating to ask donors to give more and more money.  There has to be an easier way, right? 

At the 2011 Bridge Conference, Nina Fascione, executive director for Bat Conservation International, and Martha H. Schumacher, president of Hazen, Inc, explained what nonprofits can do to improve their success with major gifts.  We covered these suggestions in our most recent management tip:

* Cultivate -- Nonprofits can cultivate major donors through education and outreach activities. By demonstrating the value of a philanthropic investment and by highlighting value-added benefits, donors can be put into mid-level donor track.

* Upgrade Mid-Level Donors -- Once you’ve added mid-level donors to your organization, it is important to try to upgrade them. Show them outcome measurements and demonstrate mission impact, while giving monthly giving options to provide a multitude of giving options.

* Introduce Your New CEO to Your Major Donors -- After you’ve upgraded your mid-level donors, make them feel like they are playing an active role in the organization. With active listening and including transparency, your donors will feel more attached to the organization.

And remember the Three E’s: Enthusiasm, Energy, Economic Accountability.

As you can see, cultivating relationships with donors is a major part of these suggestions.  You have to start at the ground level before you start seeing the results you want.  There may be no quick fix to start seeing those major gifts flow in, but these tips might be the next best thing.

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