Posts Tagged ' Major Gifts'

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How to Seek New Major Donor Prospects

How to Seek New Major Donor Prospects

This is the second blog in a common Major Donor Questions series. Find Question #1 here>> The question we'll answer in today's blog is: How do I see new Major Donor prospects? Might some of these questions describe the leadership perspective of your organization towards the idea of acquiring new donors? Do you have a very limited to zero development and fundraising staff and don’t know how to engage with major donor prospects? Do you have an increasing need for additional funding, especially from major contributors? Do you have fundraising questions but have no idea who to ask? These Questions were asked during a friendly chat with a ministry leader today. The subject quickly turned to prospecting for major donors. Why might my friend get sweaty palms when discussing how to meet major donors? She knew this was a game-changing topic so we discussed how to effectively prospect for major donors. First, place yourself in an environment where likely major donors congregate s ...Read more »
How to Change Focus and Reveal the Hearts of Your Top Donors

How to Change Focus and Reveal the Hearts of Your Top Donors

This is the beginning of a blog series that answers common Major Donor Questions. Our first question is: How can I reveal the heart of my top donors? “Tell me your favorite experience as a major supporter of your favorite charity?” The question seemed to pleasantly surprise one of the leaders of a mobile medical missions team serving in remote Swaziland in southern Africa. We were gathered near the U.S. headquarters in the Northwest for a Board Retreat. I had just met this African entrepreneur and wanted to hear the details of how his heart was moved through his interaction. He went on to describe an experience when his entire family participated in the one-on-one service outreach to those in need. This was a turning point to solidify values for many family members. He thanked me for probing this memory and determined to seek other similar opportunities in the near future. Explore Your Donor’s Heart As a leader in your industry, may I suggest you develop a list of questions ...Read more »
Your Best Major Donors Are Just 3 Degrees Away

Your Best Major Donors Are Just 3 Degrees Away

Three degrees is such a small, but powerful measurement. In the winter, it’s the difference between your car hitting a patch of black ice instead of driving on a wet road. The results are dramatically different.When it comes to training staff in major donor engagement for your ministry, it’s inspiring to know you are only 3º away from any qualified prospect. Tom Suddes, one of my lifetime mentors summarizes research by LinkedIn indicating you are only 2.78 ‘moves’/connections between you and your best prospects. True Meaningful ConnectionsIn his 40+ years of development leadership and training Suddes has attracted $2 Billion dollars to grow “for-impact” organizations. He praises the use of natural partners (think of “true meaningful connections”) for this success. These “true meaningful connections” include Champions, Board Members, Key Volunteer Leaders and Current Investors to enable you to make a meaningful connection. You can infuse confidence in those you train for major donor engagement. How? By telling ...Read more »
5-5-5 Will Get Powerful Results for Your Fall Major Donor Plan

5-5-5 Will Get Powerful Results for Your Fall Major Donor Plan

Have you read any of the mega-popular “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series?Did you know Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been translated into 43 languages, have been published in over 100 countries, and have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide? Amazing!Author Harry Che writes that when authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen wrote their first ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit’ book, they asked many marketing experts on how best to market the book. In ‘The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be’, Canfield tells how they settled on ‘the rule of 5’. Every day they did 5 intentional things to promote the book. Some examples:• 5 Radio interviews• Send a copy to 5 book reviewers• Send a copy to 5 celebritiesIn a little over a year ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ appeared on the best sellers list. Mark and Jack’s focus on daily actions proved pivotal to the book series success.Three Intentional Sets of FivesSimilarly, ...Read more »
3 Powerful Ways to Engage Your Alumni

3 Powerful Ways to Engage Your Alumni

Alumni involvement is the life-blood of growth for higher education. So a decreasing trend of alumni involvement across the board at U.S. colleges and universities is a matter of considerable concern. Though contributions to the nation’s colleges and universities reached a historic high according to an annual survey conducted by the Council for Aid to Education, unfortunately alumni participation declined. Another major survey of alumni zeroed in on one of the major reasons for this decline. Alumni pointed to the “under-delivering on alumni benefits”, and at the same time, over-soliciting alumni. A whopping 62% of college alumni organizations were perceived as “not focused on offering alumni any significant benefits.” How can a Christian university reverse this decline in engagement? Bob Burg and Mark Miller Drawing from two respected leadership writers, we’ve discovered three practices to solidify long-term relationships with alumni with the result of increasing enga ...Read more »
Finishing What You Start Leads to Donor Trust

Finishing What You Start Leads to Donor Trust

"God always finishes what He starts. He never begins a project only to leave it half-done. He never walks away from a messy workbench. Unlike us, God never carries over items on His "To Do" list from one eternity to the next. He always completes what He begins." —Joni Eareckson TadaDo you routinely start reading a book or launch a new project only to abandon the task for something that captures your immediate attention (did you say 'ice-cream cone')? Sure, we all do at times. How does this idea relate to building trust with your station's supporters?When you launch new programming initiatives or outreach projects and ask for donor support, do you take as great of care in communicating the results back to donors as you do in asking for contributions? That's right, the big "C"—communication—is vital from the start to the end of a project. Dan Busby, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), underscores this truth as he writes, "history suggests that during times of uncertainty, l ...Read more »
5 Direct Mail Reminders for Your Ministry

5 Direct Mail Reminders for Your Ministry

My mailbox and inbox contained appeals for 50 different non-profit organizations this week alone. Whew...this must be end of year time! Our family supports about twenty ministries on an annual basis including our local church, U.S. based and worldwide missions, among others. We keep up with these organizations and read their appeals. I also spent time reading other appeals this week and I found the most compelling were both honest with their financial picture and motivating concerning their potential impact. 5 Good RemindersSo I reviewed veteran direct mail expert Mal Warwick's insights into donor motivation. Individuals give emotionally to dreams and visions of impact Do not sell the needs of the institution because people give to opportunities People give people it makes them feel good not out of a sense of guilt People do not give to a losing cause or a campaign that is faltering but look to join others in supporting success Your mission is of paramount importance, much more than any particular program so ...Read more »
6 Tips to Use Board Member MVP’s for Fourth Quarter Income Growth

6 Tips to Use Board Member MVP’s for Fourth Quarter Income Growth

During the fourth quarter, everyone is looking for the most effective fundraising ideas. Two successful ideas this year for several non-profit organizations in my world featured a Dinner/Silent & Live Auction format and home desserts with a Fall Harvest theme. Both events included specific donation options that participants could choose to designate on behalf of a loved one. Designated gifts. Providing donors multiple choices. That seems to be the formula for a successful event or campaign this fall. While events are important, they are certainly no substitute for engaging individual donors. With most ministries receiving more than 65% of their income from individual contributors, a fourth quarter strategy that de-emphasizes personal connection with donors is ill-conceived. Get Your Board On-board Here's where your board members can join in the fun of donor connections. Want some tips for helping them experience joy in helping to advance the cause of your organization? Ask them to provide ...Read more »
3 Ways to Find Major Funding Partners Today

3 Ways to Find Major Funding Partners Today

Regardless the size of your ministry, I believe you are a few steps away from attracting big gifts to fund your vision. In our experience, organizations with a one person development staff member or even organizations without development offices can dramatically increase the flow of big gifts, regardless of their development budget. Just as donor-supported missionaries prepare lists of potential funding partners, your organization can move forward in development success. What are some of the key principles and practices to build your major donor team on a small budget? Finding Passionate Major Donors The key is to attract the attention of those with both capacity and passion for your cause. How do you find the wealthy, passionate donors that should be interested in joining your major donor team? 1. The first place to look is to brainstorm a list of your organization's own constituency. Can your staff identify a dozen high capacity friends of your organization who have demonstrated interest through their ...Read more »
Engaging the Discerning Major Donor

Engaging the Discerning Major Donor

Will donor support take a nosedive? I suggest the outlook is bright for nonprofit organizations that engage the discerning major donor. You might remember those ads from investment firms calling upon the “discerning investor” to use their services exclusively. I firmly believe that the current economy with all of its potential pitfalls presents non-profits with some unprecedented opportunities to advance their vision and expand their donor base. The ball is in the court of nonprofit leaders and their board members.Consider the generosity displayed by individuals in the U.S. Check out this visual summary from mint.com depicting how Americans lead the world in charitable contributions, giving more than $300 billion a year to charities. Also, note the generous response from major donors in the faith community. Very encouraging indeed!New Major Donor BreedHave you noticed that these donors are asking many more questions about your goals and outcomes from your service? • They are the new breed of discerning major ...Read more »
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Mark Kordic
Mark Kordic
Advocace Alumnus

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