Major donors need to be cultivated one at a time. A major gifts program takes time and commitment. The reality is that a small number of donors have the potential to make up a large part of your overall giving total. Reaching out to this group of donors will pay off. Cultivating relationships with major donors and identifying opportunities for them to give will have a dramatic (and positive) impact on your organization’s long-term stability, and more important, advance your mission.
Each major donor has their own reasons for giving to your organization. They also have individual preferences about personal attention and connectivity. Mix-and-match these outreach activities—and create some of your own—to steward your major donors and reap the benefits.
How Will You Connect With Major Donors?
Face-to-face meetings are always the most valuable way to build meaningful relationships. Schedule lunch dates between major donors and your executive director for that extra-special touch.
Invite donors and prospects to the home or club of a peer leader; ideally, someone who is already a major donor. Use this time to have donors talk about their support of your nonprofit, take the temperature of potential donors, and note what programs they are most interested in.
Saying thank you is a comfortable reason to reach out, and it gives you an opportunity to request a face-to-face meeting.
Same as gift anniversaries, this event offers another opportunity to thank donors for their support.
Be sure to invite those on your major gift prospect list to appropriate events where you can engage them in conversations that may organically lead to follow-up meetings.
Donor Stewardship Events
Take advantage of events built into your annual calendar. Invite your top prospects to mingle with your best donors and let them feel the enthusiasm in the room.
You know your donor’s likes and interests. Fit your engagement efforts to match their tastes, and you’ll see your relationship deepen over time.
Download our eGuide, “How To Enhance Your Donor Engagement,” for more on how to engage your donors.