How to increase the number of major gift donors is the same question that every organization, of
every size, periodically asks; strong organizations know to ask it even more often. But, perhaps there is another question you should ask first…
Are you getting the most from your current donors?
As with each of us, as individuals, self-improvement for nonprofit organizations starts from within. In an organization, that means looking to your own donor list to see who could have more impact on the enterprise, possibly by becoming a major donor.
Take a close look at your collection of donors in the $25 to $250 range. Are they giving at their current level because it is a box to check on your reply form? Do you know any of these people? Have they been involved in the organization? Are they currently, personally involved?
Donors give for a plethora of reasons, but most will fall into one of a few categories:
personal involvement in the organization;
belief in the mission;
they- or someone close to them- has had direct experience with the organization;
to feel good about themselves; and
So how do you double each donation? A couple who you don’t know but annually gives $250 can probably afford to give much more, and are probably willing to – if you gave them one of the reasons listed above. Personally invite them to a cocktail party to meet your leadership. Call them to see if they would like having coffee with 10 other friends of your organization at which you will promise not to ask for any money. Get them [more] involved. A $50 donor who gets a personal call to talk about their feelings about the organization can often be turned into a $100 donor maybe more. You get the idea
Not everyone will increase support, and that’s ok too. Each person who gives $25 helps you fulfill your mission and is, therefore, essential to the organization. And, you never know when this person may change his or her mind.
We have said this before and we will say it again. Go and make the calls—even better, make the visits. Now. It all starts with making contact and the more personal the “call,” the better the response.