I walk you through the steps I’ve used to find them. You can find a preview of that strategy here.
In phase 2, I will help you create a strategy for outreach – cultivation. Good donors don’t want to be ignored. They want your attention. They want to be involved. But they will seldom reach out to you. You’ve got to take the first step. There are better and worse ways of doing that, of course. And cold-calling is not one of the better ones.
After we prioritize which donors to call, we’ll brainstorm about “pre-approach” strategies – flags to your donors that you will be reaching out. There are various attention-grabbers you can use to soften the punch when you pick up the phone. We’ll also talk through the best ways to make a call, how to land a visit (that’s priority one in this stage), how to build trust, and how to deepen your donor’s enthusiasm about your nonprofit’s mission.
In my experience, it takes about ten calls to get one visit. I’ll help you create a realistic and sustainable strategy for making those numbers work in your favor.
In phase 3, we’ll talk solicitation. Donors want to be needed. The best donors – and they are out there – already love your organization. They know enough about your mission to be committed to it. And many of them have capacity to do much more. They just haven’t been asked.
But again, there are better and worse ways to ask, depending on the type of donor you are approaching. How much could they give? Is the ask unrestricted? Is it a pledge? Will it be allocated to a specific program? We’ll talk all that through. And we’ll make sure you approach your solicitation visit with a clear script you can use to make the ask well – with a good balance between confidence and humility.
In phase 4, we’ll talk stewardship. Donors want to be appreciated. And boy, are there good and bad ways of appreciating your donors. The role of the gift officer is, first and foremost, to facilitate the relationship. But you’ve got to do your homework too. In this stage, we’ll make sure you have a strategy to thank your donors appropriately. It will include an awareness of simple things, like who has given, when; but it will also include brainstorming about creative and customized ways you can express your organization’s gratitude to major gift donors who support your organization at a leadership level.
The rhythm of having regular appointments with a major gift coach will provide a structure to your fundraising work, and it will give you regular touchpoints for completing them.
In my experience, there is a big difference between fundraisers who spend their time doing the right tasks the right way and fundraisers who spend their time wasting time. My goal is to help you spend your time well, so you can raise real revenue for your nonprofit and thereby advance the mission you believe in.
To learn more about the philosophy behind Major Gift Solutions, click here.