Major Gifts Fundraising

I was recently perusing the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s website, and I ran across a transcript from a conversation fundraisers had on persuading donors to give “big.” Specifically, this conversation was on the relationships and time involved, along with other aspects of persuading donors to give. The conversation was a really good one, so I thought I’d share it as this week’s blog post. Please feel free to check it out here:

Here’s a quick list of some of what struck me from the conversation:

  1. Avoid the word “need”.
  2. It can take 3-5 years to build the type of relationship that leads to a major gift.
  3. The word “invest” is an excellent one to use when referring to the donation. It is an investment in your organization.
  4. We’ve heard this one before, but it bears repeating: These relationships are built on the donor’s timeline, not some predetermined timeline that you can “cut and paste” from one donor to another.
  5. The speakers were open about what they find appealing in a major gifts officer as well as what turns them off. This was good stuff!

Are there specific aspects of the conversation that strike you as really important? Are there things you’ve learned in your fundraising efforts worth sharing with other fundraisers? Let us know in the comments section! Thanks!