Getting Major Donors<br />Karen HornMajor Gifts OfficerAmerican Red Cross of Northern New Jersey<br />1<br />
The Basic Process of Major Gifts<br />2<br />
Prospecting<br />3<br />
Finding Prospects Beyond the Usual Means<br />The “usual means” is through Board Members, newspapers, leads. Is a great wa...
Identifying a Strong Prospect<br />Identifying and researching a donor can often be the same step<br />Consider the likeli...
Research a Prospect<br />The most important aspect of research is creating a donor’s character profile<br />Identify event...
Contact = Communication = The Most Important Step<br />Communication Plans are the foundation of your entire fundraising p...
Cultivation<br />8<br />
Cultivation: The First Meeting<br />The first meeting is not the time to ask for a gift, it is your chance to get to know ...
Individualize Communication<br />The communications/contact schedule should be consistent across your organization until a...
Individualize Communication Content<br />Just because you love every aspect of your organization does not mean your prospe...
Be Creative<br />We are all after the same major donor<br />And we are all following this same process: so stand out<br />...
Cultivation Meetings<br />Cultivation meetings must be at the prospect/donor’s convenience<br />Do not force the conversat...
What To Talk About at a Meeting<br />Feel free to ask a donor what other organizations they are donating to or meeting wit...
Cultivation Never Ends<br />Did you notice I almost always use “prospect/donor” above? <br />The only difference is who ha...
The Primary Goal<br />16<br />
What You Want From the Donor<br />The primary goal is exactly what you want from this specific individual<br />The goal sh...
The Goal and the Communication Plan<br />The Primary Goal should guide the communication plan, but not override it. <br />...
Qualifying the Primary Goal	<br />As you qualify the Primary Goal, you will be leading yourself step by step to the ask.<b...
Test Gift Example<br />If you are working with a prospect with the capacity for a $20,000 gift, you may ask for $1,000 tow...
When to Make the Ask<br />When you absolutely know what a donor is interested in, and their interest level, you will know ...
How Do I Know if Cultivation is “Lagging”<br />Lagging is when the donor is showing no more or less interest in your organ...
“No” is not the end<br />Do not take a “no” personally<br />Do not be afraid to discuss the prospect’s answer. <br />Do no...
Yes!	<br />“Yes!” Is frankly most organizations’ greatest downfall<br />It is exciting, but it’s not the end!<br />The day...
Stewardship	<br />Stewardship is the first step to renewed cultivation <br />Say thank you as publicly and as often as the...
Final Overview<br />Questions?<br />Our next meeting will discuss communications<br />26<br />
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Getting Major Donors

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A recent training I did for a client on the process of getting Major Gift donors. This client\'s particular challenge was a Board with few or no contacts. This process skirts leveraging Board contacts.

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Getting Major Donors

  1. 1. Getting Major Donors<br />Karen HornMajor Gifts OfficerAmerican Red Cross of Northern New Jersey<br />1<br />
  2. 2. The Basic Process of Major Gifts<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Prospecting<br />3<br />
  4. 4. Finding Prospects Beyond the Usual Means<br />The “usual means” is through Board Members, newspapers, leads. Is a great way to start, but in the current economy “cold calling” is necessary.<br />Put yourself in contact with the prospective donors<br />Have Board Members take you to their favorite Country Clubs. Don’t play have them just play golf, but go to the bar and mingle.<br />Identify events that CEO’s attend and go<br />Create events that will target the level of prospects you want.<br />Get your MGO’s highlighted events. Better yet, at your own organization’s events.<br />Example: We all flock to the honoree of an event, why not have your MGO be an honoree for the amount of money they’ve raised and have prospective donors flock to him/her?<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Identifying a Strong Prospect<br />Identifying and researching a donor can often be the same step<br />Consider the likelihood of giving a donation to any organization<br />Consider their capacity to give <br />Gage the prospect’s level of interest in your organization<br />A donor is not always interested in the entire organization. Do not discard a possibility if they display interest in only one program. <br />5<br />
  6. 6. Research a Prospect<br />The most important aspect of research is creating a donor’s character profile<br />Identify events/places where your MGO’s are likely to meet this donor <br />Attend these events if possible, put your MGO’s in their path<br />If possible, identify the prospect’s phone, email and address. <br />Never stop researching! <br />Set up google alerts for even the most established donors<br />6<br />
  7. 7. Contact = Communication = The Most Important Step<br />Communication Plans are the foundation of your entire fundraising program<br />How often, when, where, how, and why you contact donors should be defined for a minimum of one year increments<br />How much does this plan cost your organization? <br />Mailings cost money<br />Systematically contact every prospect <br />If the communication is free (phone call, email): do not stop contacting this prospect until they tell you to stop<br />If communication costs money (mailings): define how long you will keep prospects and lapsed donors on the list<br />Always track all communication attempts. Note which finally works. <br />7<br />
  8. 8. Cultivation<br />8<br />
  9. 9. Cultivation: The First Meeting<br />The first meeting is not the time to ask for a gift, it is your chance to get to know each other<br />Inform them about the overall organizational picture<br />Ask questions!<br />What interests the donor about the organization<br />How often should we contact you<br />How would you like to be more involved?<br />Most importantly, when can we meet again<br />9<br />
  10. 10. Individualize Communication<br />The communications/contact schedule should be consistent across your organization until a prospect/donor states otherwise<br />Most major gift donors will ask to be contacted in a specific manner over a specific period of time. <br />Adhere strictly to the timeline they define.<br />Imposing a timeline on a donor or prospect is a grave mistake!<br />Ask regularly if prospects/donors are happy with the amount of communication they are receiving<br />10<br />
  11. 11. Individualize Communication Content<br />Just because you love every aspect of your organization does not mean your prospect/donor does<br />There is a definitive link between the level of donation and the donor’s interest level. <br />Prospects/Donors rarely state they are not interested.<br />Proactively listen. Do they lean forward when you talk about one program? Do they ask more questions? Do they only respond to one mailing?<br />Capitalize on this. If you note they’re clearly more interested in one aspect over another, then redefine that prospect/donors communication plan to emphasize their program of interest.<br />11<br />
  12. 12. Be Creative<br />We are all after the same major donor<br />And we are all following this same process: so stand out<br />Create one or two communications/touch points per year that are different and personalized<br />This does not require grand gestures<br />Hand deliver cookies at Christmas<br />Send a $5 gift card to a coffee shop, ask to meet them for a coffee<br />12<br />
  13. 13. Cultivation Meetings<br />Cultivation meetings must be at the prospect/donor’s convenience<br />Do not force the conversation, guide it, but don’t force it.<br />Remember that the individual is doing this for fun and on their time off.<br />This is important!<br />You are not a coworker to them, you are a confidant guiding them toward making a better community<br />Remember this! And treat them accordingly.<br />13<br />
  14. 14. What To Talk About at a Meeting<br />Feel free to ask a donor what other organizations they are donating to or meeting with<br />Be knowledgeable about these organizations<br />Never disparage another organization<br />Ask about their work<br />Ask about family<br />Talk about yourself<br />An update about your organization is a reason to meet<br />14<br />
  15. 15. Cultivation Never Ends<br />Did you notice I almost always use “prospect/donor” above? <br />The only difference is who has already given a gift<br />The most important aspect of cultivation is that it never ends<br />A gift is not the end, but the last step to that cycle. The next cycle begins with stewardship and moves back to cultivation<br />Phone calls, emails, meetings must continue until the prospect/donor requests that they end<br />15<br />
  16. 16. The Primary Goal<br />16<br />
  17. 17. What You Want From the Donor<br />The primary goal is exactly what you want from this specific individual<br />The goal should be concise, but not precise: We wish donor X to give $200,000 toward the Youth Program.<br />The steps toward attaining the goal is “cultivation”<br />Throughout the process qualify and requalify the prospect/donor <br />Is donor X still interested in the Youth Program to give $200,000 toward it, or is he/she becoming more interested in the Animal Program?<br />The ask should occur when you can definitively answer “yes”<br />17<br />
  18. 18. The Goal and the Communication Plan<br />The Primary Goal should guide the communication plan, but not override it. <br />Even if a donor is giving $1 million toward the building of a structure, keep them informed on all aspects of your organization. Just make sure that you send them regular updates on the building.<br />Continuing the donor on the communication plan gives you a door to continue talking to them after the gift has been implemented<br />Gives donors information on how they’re helping the bigger picture<br />18<br />
  19. 19. Qualifying the Primary Goal <br />As you qualify the Primary Goal, you will be leading yourself step by step to the ask.<br />Don’t be afraid to outright ask a prospect if they’re interested in supporting a program. <br />Test your goal with a prospect by asking for small gifts in areas of possible interest<br />Always try to gear these gifts toward your primary goal. <br />If they say no, this is a good indication that they may not be interested in your plan for them. But qualify this no before you assume they’re not interested<br />19<br />
  20. 20. Test Gift Example<br />If you are working with a prospect with the capacity for a $20,000 gift, you may ask for $1,000 toward an event. <br />If yes, they are becoming invested in your organization.<br />If no, ask why not, and adjust your communications accordingly<br />Example. A donor may not yet feel the organization does enough good. Start discussing more case statements, organization tours of your programs/facility, etc.<br />20<br />
  21. 21. When to Make the Ask<br />When you absolutely know what a donor is interested in, and their interest level, you will know when to make the ask<br />This process is much shorter for an established donor than for a strong prospect<br />Do not try to stick to a predefined schedule. Let this play out naturally.<br />Remain flexible: always look for an opportunity to qualify or make a ask, if not “the” ask<br />Do not let the relationship lag in the “cultivation” step<br />21<br />
  22. 22. How Do I Know if Cultivation is “Lagging”<br />Lagging is when the donor is showing no more or less interest in your organization or program<br />If this starts occurring early in the cultivation process, and the individual is still a “prospect”, change your cultivation techniques<br />If you’re just meeting for dinners, then meet at your office, or at a program site<br />Do something that will make the donor “see” your organization in process<br />Bring a Board Member/Executive along<br />If this starts just before “the” ask, then jump ahead and make the ask. Even if the answer is “no” it will create an opening in the conversation<br />22<br />
  23. 23. “No” is not the end<br />Do not take a “no” personally<br />Do not be afraid to discuss the prospect’s answer. <br />Do not take the answer at face value. <br />A no will often give you more insight than a yes and can often be more valuable in growing the relationship<br />Organizations often make the mistake of ending the discussion after a yes and then slotting a donor into that area. Ex. “youth program donor, ask for X amount next year”<br />No will force you to continue the discussion<br />23<br />
  24. 24. Yes! <br />“Yes!” Is frankly most organizations’ greatest downfall<br />It is exciting, but it’s not the end!<br />The day after you receive the check, say thank you, and then go back to slide 10 and begin again<br />24<br />
  25. 25. Stewardship <br />Stewardship is the first step to renewed cultivation <br />Say thank you as publicly and as often as the donor wishes<br />Ask donors if there is more that your organization can do to thank them<br />25<br />
  26. 26. Final Overview<br />Questions?<br />Our next meeting will discuss communications<br />26<br />

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