There is more to major donor stewardship than sending thank you notes and gift receipts after donors make a gift. Thinking in new ways will lead us to reach out and make contact with donors in as many ways, and as many times, as we can.

Here are a few ways to cultivate major gift prospects beyond the basics.

Establish a Thank You Program

Get your Chairperson of the Board, and your Executive Director involved! Here is one example of a thank you program:

  • A gift of $5,000+: your Chairperson of the Board makes a thank you call

  • A gift of $1,000+: your Executive Director makes a thank you call

  • All gifts from $100 to $1,000: divide up for staff to call and thank personally

Personally Invite Donors

Have board members personally invite prospective major donors to programs, events and concerts. By using your major donors and board members to network, you will find the most effective way to increase donors and your bottom line.

Use the Talent of Those Already Invested

Ask major donor prospects for their opinion and advice. There is so much talent out there that can help you build your organization. Use it! Get people involved, and believe me, they will support the ideas they help develop!

Follow Up

Always, and I mean ALWAYS promptly follow up with donor inquiries and train your staff to do the same. Donors will know that they are important and will believe that they have something to offer to your organization. Showing people respect and valuing them is the right way to run your organization. When you do right things for the right reasons, the right results tend to follow.

Genuinely Care and Purposefully Notice

Send prospective major donors clippings from a newspaper, magazine or book that might interest them. Ask your major donors questions that let you get to know their passions, dreams, and interests. Show them you genuinely care about those interests as well, and you will have a major donor for life.