3 Practical Ways The Rescue Mission Secures Major Gifts


Ft Wayne Rescue Mission LogoWith the homeless population steadily increasing The Rescue Mission in Ft. Wayne, Indiana wanted to expand their vision and reach more people. They ordered Wealth Screening: DonorCompass for 10,000 names from their database. Once the report came back, Advocace helped isolate 800 people who could give $25,000+. Their maximum gift capacity for the donors in their database was $137,761,250.

“Our DonorCompassSM report really brought to light what our opportunities were,” Rich Cummins, CFRE and Chief Development Officer, said.  “Looking back, the report was the catalyst that helped move our organization forward.”

The Board at The Rescue Mission got so excited about the possibilities of raising funds to impact more people with the work that they do at The Rescue Mission. So, they joined the Executive Director, Development Director and Major Gifts Officer in building relationships with these people who were capable and passionate about supporting the work of The Rescue Mission.

“The board wanted to be trained in major gifts! We have a great board, but their enthusiasm for helping us raise funds was largely driven by the opportunities the DonorCompassSM report had uncovered.”

Download How to Get Larger Gifts in Less Time for Your Ministry: Your DonorCompassSM Guide to Success>>

Donor Acquisition

Along with DonorCompassSM, the Advocace team provides leadership and coaching to help The Rescue Mission with a unique approach to donor acquisition.  Traditionally, rescue missions spend tens of thousands of dollars with direct mail agencies, buying lists of names and sending solicitation letters. While this time-honored technique still works, it can be expensive. 

“We had built a great relationship with local Christian radio,” Cummins said.  “So we wondered what would happen if we appealed to radio listeners directly about supporting the mission.  Advocace built a plan, developed the messaging and helped us execute a successful strategy.

The acquisition campaign added more than 500 new donors to the file and raised more than $80,000 during a two-day on-air fundraising emphasis on a local station. 

“The breakthrough was that instead of it costing us money to acquire donors, we actually added names and raised funds for our work at the same time,” Cummins said.

Major Gifts

Advocace’s team also coaches The Rescue Mission’s team, especially in the arena of Major Gifts. Through regular on-site trainings, strategy sessions and coaching calls, Cummins and his team have stepped up their game in major gifts.  We see their hard work beginning to pay some very big dividends.

“A couple of weeks ago, I secured my first $1 million gift as a major gift officer,” Cummins reported.  “A lot went into that, and it is always a team effort. And the coaching and training I’ve received from the team at Advocace has definitely helped by bringing focus, principles and best practices to our missions’ development department.”

Download Abundant Harvest: Growing Your Major Gifts Program>>




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