Fundraising Success.

Today, successful fundraising is not simply raising money. Real fundraising success means reaching your full potential. Any organization can attract support. But Hartsook clients are raising the most money. Success Stories

The Best.

Hartsook is a leader in the fundraising profession, with the only named, endowed chair in fundraising in the world – the Robert F. Hartsook Chair in Fundraising at Indiana University, Hartsook Institutes for Fundraising, and the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy.

Smart. Superior. Strategies.

Your nonprofit organization can raise more money. Over $390 billion was given away last year. Expert, committed and research-based fundraising counsel and management help Hartsook clients get their share. Advancing fundraising for your organization is our mission – so you can advance your mission. Hartsook has raised $231 billion and counting for a wide variety of nonprofits – 6,000 worldwide. Contact us now to see how we can help you reach your full potential.

Contact Us

[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]

December 10, 2018

Major Gifts Are Transformational, not Transactional

imageOne of Hartsook’s fundraising tenets, coined by its founder Bob Hartsook, is: “No one wants to give money away, but donors do want to make a positive difference in the lives of others or in the life of their community.” A donor’s philanthropy is not a transaction that ends with the gift. It is a transformational act that marks the beginning of an ongoing relationship.

It takes time to cultivate the donor relationship prior to soliciting a major gift, but relationship-building doesn’t end once the gift has been given. A gift should only deepen the relationship. Continued communication and appreciation are not only essential, but they open the door for future giving opportunities, including legacy gifts. Here are a few tips for cultivating donor prospects and deepening donor relationships:

Develop a donor strategy

You should have individual strategies for each prospective donor and existing major gift donor. No two people are the same, so the relationships should not be cultivated and appreciated in the same way. Create a plan based on and tailored to a particular donor’s interests and values.

It’s about the mission, not the money

If you are asking for a gift every time you meet with donors, there is a good chance they will start to feel used or, at least, disenchanted. Talk with them often about the mission – not just the money. Remind them of the impact their gifts are making. Set up personal visits with donors several times a year. These don’t need to be long visits, just meaningful ones. Ask them about their areas of interest – and then really listen.

Illustrate the impact

Donors want to see – not just hear about – the impact their gifts are making. Send them success stories that include pictures of people and projects. Invite them to tour your facility. Have clients and board members send personal, handwritten thank you notes. Be creative in demonstrating your organization’s tangible outcomes and your appreciation.

Donors don’t want to give their money away, but they do want to make a difference. Help them make that happen through strong relationships that will impact the mission now and for years to come.

Ross J. Pfannenstiel, Senior Vice President, [email protected]

Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, [email protected]. If you’d like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact [email protected].


Photo credits: National WWI Museum
and Memorial

Kent Sunderland
President and Trustee
The Sunderland Foundation

Recipient of the

Kent Sunderland was presented with the prestigious Growing Philanthropy Award in Kansas City by Hartsook President and CEO
Matthew J. Beem during National WWI Museum and Memorial’s VIP event, Night at the Tower.

He was nominated by Matthew Naylor, Ph.D., President and CEO of the National WWI Museum and Memorial, and was selected unanimously by Hartsook Institutes and the International Board of Visitors Growing Philanthropy Committee.

Kent was Vice Chairman of Ash Grove Cement prior to its recent sale. As President of The Sunderland Foundation, he has played a significant role in advancing philanthropy with major gifts.

The Growing Philanthropy Award recognizes a distinguished group of individuals and organizations whose efforts increase philanthropy through research, innovation and challenging the status quo. For more information, contact [email protected].