[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]

July 24, 2018

The Future of Major Gifts and Estate Pledges is Now

imageHeavy reliance on an annual fund or special events mires a nonprofit in an almost hopeless cycle of transactional donor doom.

Instead, wake up and smell the benefits of a well-conceived major gifts and estate pledges program. Those who do will succeed well into the future; those who don’t will continue to slog in the fundraising doldrums of mediocrity.

Get educated
Wise nonprofits consider the long game of a blended gifts fundraising program to include a results-oriented, forward-thinking estate pledge and major gift fundraising plan. There are plenty of educational tools out there to get any nonprofit started using savvy fundraising strategies.

Start digging
There are ardent donors who want to make a future gift now as well as a current impact gift. There are prospects who may not be in a position now, but who will be estate pledge donors down the road. Identify who these people are, and work an individualized plan.

Don’t assume the board knows
The shopkeepers will need training, too. An educated board is the best ally any nonprofit can have when it comes to undertaking a successful major gift and estate pledges program. Watch for the “aha” moments, then harness the energy.

Don’t kick yourself years from now, when you will surely need funding as well. Let this be a cautionary tale: estate pledges and major gifts are the future of fundraising. Patient, consistent cultivation over time can make all the difference in turning enthusiastic supporters into full-fledged philanthropists who will impact your mission now and later.

John Warren, Executive Vice President, [email protected]

logoJoin Us on the Growing Philanthropy Tour

Next stops on the road to achieving Hartsook’s mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:

Kansas City
August 15, 2018

Nonprofit Connect
Relationship Fundraising 3.0
Adrian Sargeant

San Francisco
August 17, 2018

2018 Berkeley Summer School in Environmental and Energy Economics
Field Experiments in Environmental and Resources Economics
John List

Clayton, Australia
August 23-31, 2018
Monash University
John List

Chicago
September 11, 2018

2018 University of Chicago
Science of Diversity & Inclusion Initiative Conference
John List

Indianapolis
September 19-20, 2018
Science of Philanthropy Initiative Conference 2018
John List

Kansas City
September 26-29, 2018
American Association for State and Local History Annual Meeting
Donor-Focused Fundraising: Letting Research Guide Your Organization’s Philanthropy
Matthew J. Beem
Debbie Bass, National WWI Museum and Memorial

Boston, Mass.
October 5-6, 2018
Boston University
Advances with Field Experiments
John List

Basel, Switzerland
October 16-18, 2018
University of Basel
8th Bernoulli Lecture for the Behavioral Sciences
John List

London
February 7-8, 2019

LSE Annual Behavioural Public Policy Lecture
Grantham Centre
John List

Past Stops on the Tour


Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle

Keep up to date on the latest fundraising trends with the Kindle ASR Media collection:

  • Reality Fundraising – Ideas, insights and lessons learned through hundreds of best practices from nonprofit professionals nationwide by Bob Hartsook
  • Fundraising Leadership – The definitive source for empowering board members to become pro-active fundraising leaders by Karin L. Cox
  • Getting Your Ducks in a Row – A tool box of strategies for effective campaign fundraising by Bob Hartsook
  • Million Dollar Gifts – Real-life stories of million-dollar gifts that will amaze and inspire your fundraising by Bob Hartsook
  • Closing that Gift – “29 secrets” to closing a gift and avoiding the top 10 solicitation mistakes by Bob Hartsook
  • Performance-Driven Fundraising – Handy, yet entertaining reference tool for new and seasoned fundraisers by Matthew J. Beem
  • Nobody Wants to Give Money Away! – Stories, humor and more than two decades of fundraising experience in which Bob explores the nine fundraising truths essential to success by Bob Hartsook
  • On The Money! – An enlightening collection of success stories and lessons learned from nonprofit fundraising campaigns nationwide by Bob Hartsook
  • $231 Billion Raised and Counting – by Bob Hartsook, Matthew J. Beem, Karin Cox and over a dozen Hartsook consultants and clients. Hartsook shares stories and “Strategies for Success” that will educate and inspire

Book of the Month

imageGetting Your Ducks in a Row! Proven Strategies for Exceeding Your Capital, Endowment and Operating Campaign Goals (ASR Media) brings together authors and resources, providing a toolbox of strategies for campaign fundraising. Go here to order the book.

On the Web

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Visit the Hartsook website for:
– Educational opportunities
– Books/reference articles
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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].