There are many keys that can bring success to your major donor program. One with the greatest opportunity for impact is setting goals for your major donor team. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you’re sure to hit it every time.” The corollary is that if you aim at a goal you have a good chance of hitting it.
Common Major Donor Team Goals
In one study of Christian ministry leaders, 64% said they have a major donor program. When we explored further:
- Only 39% said they set goals for their major donor team members.
- Of those who set goals, about half said they set both dollar goals and goals for the number of major donor contacts.
- They were most likely to set monthly goals.
If these ministry leaders are typical, there is a great need for improvement in setting goals for your major donor program.
6 Ways to Set Major Donor Goals
Here are six ways to increase funding for your major donor program by setting goals:
- Start goal-setting at the top. The President, Executive Director or other top ministry leader needs to set fundraising goals for themselves. One leader I interviewed said he has the goal of talking to at least one donor each day about making a gift to his ministry.
- Share goals. One leader said he shared his fundraising goals with his Board. But it’s also important to share those goals with the entire team, demonstrating to everyone their willingness to set the pace for fundraising.
- Write down goals. Some leaders like to verbally state goals, but those can easily be misinterpreted or subjected to a “fudge factor.” Goals written down in black and white are normally taken more seriously.
- Make goals specific. This include actions to be taken in a specific time period. For example, team members know what’s expected when they have a goal of making 5 – 7 meaningful contacts (phone calls or visits) each week. “Meaningful” might be defined as a contact that includes presenting a case statement, seeking information about a donor’s passions, interests or family, setting an appointment for a future meeting or directly asking for a gift. The time-frames for goals should be set to discourage procrastination
- Set collaborative goals. Goals are more likely to be met when set with rather than for team members.
- Reinforce goals with positive accountability. Regular sessions need to be set up for team members, including top leaders, to report on progress in reaching goals. These sessions are most effective when they include reports of “wins” and “losses.” They provide opportunities to team members to share obstacles and objections as well as to brainstorm for solutions. They should also include a time of prayer for team members struggling to meet goals and for individual donors and their needs.
Do you set goals for your major donor team? What steps can you take TODAY to improve your goals?
Let’s talk about how you can set and reach effective goals for your Major Donor team. Schedule your free coaching call to get started >>