[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]

March 28, 2017

Have You Made an Investment in Major Gift Fundraising?

imageYes, it does cost time and money to raise major gifts, but the investment pays well when it is matched with great fundraising strategies. Still, many organizations struggle with the concept of spending the money necessary to identify, cultivate, solicit and appreciate major gift donors.

Following are tips to make sure your investment in major gift fundraising is spent wisely.

Show passion and sincerity
A solicitation at the major gift level should be personal, relational and specific. Your passion for the organization and its mission is essential. Major gift donors want to be part of something great. Often, a good part of a major gift strategy involves "not asking." Find ways to show you care about the donor's support without asking for anything in return.

Listen to listen
If you are in a hurry to tell a prospective donor why they need to support the organization, then it is very probable that you are not truly listening. You might be listening to figure out what you will say next. Remain genuinely engaged, and take time to ask open-ended questions: "How did you first get involved with the organization? What drew you to us?" Ask questions that require you to listen, and then challenge yourself to really listen.

Find common ground
If you are sincere in your passion for the organization, and if you really listen to your donors, you are very likely to hear something that truly resonates. Follow that thread of discussion to a natural and specific ask that is tailored and unique to the individual and their values.

No doubt, raising major gifts for your organization will take more time - and, therefore, more money - to identify, cultivate and solicit. However, if done intentionally and strategically, an investment in major gift fundraising will reap extraordinary rewards.

Kristy Burns, Vice President (Columbus, Ohio) kburns@hartsookcompanies.com


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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:

Chicago
March 28, 2017

National School Foundation Association Conference
Thinking Big (Even if Your Nonprofit is Small):
Major Gifts and Legacy Giving
Lead Roundtable: Karin Cox

Kansas City
April 2-5, 2017

Association of Fundraising Professionals Mid-America Chapter
Demystifying Capital Campaigns
Matt Beem

Kansas City
April 4, 2017

Association of Jewish Aging Services
Demystifying Capital Campaigns
Matt Beem

Kansas City
April 4, 2017

AFP Mid-America Chapter Rapid Fire Consulting
Karin Cox
Bud Cooper

French Lick, Ind.
April 5-7, 2017

Boy Scouts of America
2017 Central Region All Hands Conference

San Francisco
April 30 - May 2, 2017

AFP International Fundraising Conference
Successful Fundraising Events: Just What Does It Take to Be Best in Class
Adrian Sargeant

Dallas
May 10-12, 2017

Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Conference
Relationship Fundraising 2.0
Adrian Sargeant

London
May 23-24, 2017

Third Sector's Annual Fundraising Conference
Thinking Outside the Box: Everything You Wanted to Know about Donor Behaviour
Adrian Sargeant

Houston
June 9, 2017

AFP Houston Chapter
Adrian Sargeant

New Orleans
June 15, 2017

New Orleans Association of Fundraising Professionals Conference
Adrian Sargeant

London
July 4, 2017

IoF Fundraising Convention 2017
Great Fundraising Events
Adrian Sargeant

Richmond, Va.
July 19-20, 2017

Virginia Fund Raising Institute
Innovating Philanthropy
Karin Cox
John Warren
Presenting Sponsor: Hartsook

Tulsa
August 2, 2017

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
Massive Fundraising
Adrian Sargeant

Oklahoma City
August 2017

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
Relationship Building: Where Do We Go From Here?
Adrian Sargeant

New Orleans
August 24-26, 2017

Top Hands
Boy Scouts of America
Matt Beem
Ross Pfannenstiel

Scotland, U.K.
October 23-25, 2017

Alan Clayton Associates
Great Fundraising Masterclass
Adrian Sargeant

Scotland, U.K.
February 7-9, 2018

Alan Clayton Associates
Great Fundraising Masterclass

Past Stops on the Tour


Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle

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On The Money! (ASR Media) is an enlightening collection of success stories and lessons learned from 25 nonprofit fundraising campaigns nationwide. Click here to order On the Money! for a special price of $10 (plus shipping and handling).


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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, kcox@hartsookcompanies.com. If you'd like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact info@hartsookcompanies.com.

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