Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Major Donor Traits

What makes a major donor? The obvious answer is a substantial amount of money, but these individuals also have different belief systems. Fundraisers must learn to understand these beliefs if they are to be successful at cultivating these types of donors.

As Kent E. Dove, Alan M. Spears, and Thomas W. Herbert wrote in their book “Conducting a Successful Major Gifts & Planned Giving Program,” major gifts aren't just going to appear to an organization; they have to be cultivated from major donors by fundraisers. In order to achieve the proper success, it's important to understand what makes these individuals tick.

Dove, Spears, and Herbert explained that while major donors have many characteristics, understanding the following three will lead to the best results in procuring a major gift:
  • Major donors typically have strong values and deep beliefs. They believe in people and have great respect for knowledge.
  • They know someone in or something about the nonprofit organization they are supporting.
  • They view giving as an investment, and through such investments they desire to solve a problem or issue and to express themselves (to attain self-actualization).

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