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Major Gift Secrets All Nonprofits Should Know – The Fast Track!

My esteemed colleague and someone I greatly admire, Gail Perry, MBA, CFRE, posted a revolutionary blog post the other day, and I just had to share it with you because this is critical information!

She called it “The 7 Major Gift Secrets Every Fundraiser (and Board Member) Should Know!

You can click on this link and read it in her full, wonderful detail, but here is the jist of it…

She and her colleague Amy Eisenstien point to data funded by Bloomerang and DonorSearch, who performed a really cool study that included 662 nonprofits.

  1. Invest in training Development Staff. 

“Research shows that for every additional hour of training you give fundraising staff, you can expect an average additional $37k in major gifts.”  Gail and Amy are right on target, here.  I can’t stress enough the importance of well-trained fundraising staff. I have coached many newbie fundraisers, and I have seen them turn their efforts around from dismal to successful in a matter of weeks, just because they had some new, effective fundraising training!

  2. Don’t let your fundraising staff leave. 

“Research shows that for every additional year a development officer stays on staff- they can expect to raise an additional 6.5 major gifts.” Yes, I’ve seen this too. When a development staff leaves, the relationships that have been built by that staff fall by the wayside. What a shame. Keep your staff, let them build the relationships that can lead to successively larger major gifts.

 3. Do Keep the size of your major gift portfolio small.

” Research shows that many organizations with only one person working on major gifts should take on only 20-30 prospects. Many organizations have less than one full time person dedicated to major gifts. If you tackle more than that, you’ll dilute your effort, and you will not be as successful.”  I can’t add any more to this but the fact that this is SO TRUE!  Focus on your top major donors. Keep them informed and in the loop. You can’t do this if you have more than 30 stewarded by one person! For real!!!

4. Do Spend Money on Wealth Screening.

Ok, I hear you now. We have no money for Wealth Engine or other screening tools.  But, here is what Gail has to say, “Research shows that organizations who invest in this low-cost technology raise significantly more major gifts.One INSIDER (Gail has a great INSIDER community) commented during Amy’s webinar yesterday that she paid $3,000 for wealth screening, and closed a $100k gift as a result the next year.”  Think about that!

She goes on to say that it is most important to spend concentrated time on major donors, engage board members, and build a culture of philanthropy in your organization. Well, of course!  These are “must-haves” for any successful major gift effort at your nonprofit organization.

There is so much more to this, I encourage you to read Gail’s full blog post by clicking here.

Wishing you always greater nonprofit abundance and success!

Ayda