8 Considerations For A New Major Gifts Campaign

Call them up and schedule “ask meetings” with each of them. After you conduct your meetings, you’ll set up meetings with your next three top prospects . When you talk with your donors, you may wish to tell them how they will be recognized.

What is a gift campaign?

Matching gift campaigns are a highly effective tactic to encourage donor giving. They help donors feel their gift has a bigger impact while adding urgency because they contain deadlines.

Donors want to trust and like the individuals at the organizations they support. Cultivation is about building relationships beforeasking for money. The next step is to build relationships with the individuals on your list. This stage of the fundraising process is called cultivation. Pick an amount that you think would be a good major gift level — let’s say $10,000.

Get Creative To Boost Matching Gift Revenue For Your Next Campaign

In this post, you’ll learn the basics of Gift Range Charts and discover the related tools that will help create a plan for your campaign. Remember, this is about relationships, so the person who asks should have the strongest relationship with the prospect. On a committee, in the office, in direct service, one-time or ongoing.

In most campaigns, the top gift is 20% or 25% of the campaign goal. In fact, only 10 gifts account for at least half the goal in the vast majority of capital campaigns. Include anyone on your major gifts team — the executive director, development staff, administrative assistant and key board members. It’s your job to build relationships with the individuals on your list. I realize that it’s likely that you already know many of the people on your list — they may be board members or other volunteers. Regardless of whether you know them or not, you need to start thinking strategically about how to move them to consider supporting your organization in a bigger way… a major gift.

Target Prospect List

This is not a gala affair, but the press might be invited, as well as all the prospects and all the solicitors. However, if successful fund-raising is simply hard work on the part of the thoroughly prepared, then that preparation must begin before a campaign is planned. An organization contemplating a Major Gifts campaign needs first to assess and evaluate its readiness to raise money. This pattern, showing a few gifts accounting for a large proportion of the campaign goal, is common for capital campaigns.

Use your campaign page to describe your partnership with your match partner and the impact someone’s donation will make towards your goal. You’ll want to include information about any time limitations on the match and how large it is. Also consider creative ways to confirm donations have been matched as supporters make their gifts. You can create a campaign page where supporters can donate toward a matching fund to be used during a future campaign. This, too, is optional, but it is an excellent way to recognize and reward the committee as well as the donors.

But if they believe in your case, they may give more if the recognition offered is meaningful. Here’s how mastering each of these areas will bring success to your capital campaign. A Gift Range Chart may appear to be a simple planning devise, but when you use it as the essential structure for your campaign, you’ll find that everything falls into place. If when you get to the bottom of your chart, you find that you need more prospects than you have, go to the top and increase the number of gifts at the top. The total number of prospects you show in your chart should be no larger than the number of qualified prospects you have in your donor base.

What does a director of major gifts do?

A major gifts officer works with prospective donors to obtain funds for an organization. As a major gifts officer, you work with other team members to plan fundraising goals. You also arrange meetings with donor prospects, so travel is a part of the job.

By having two people on the solicitation visit, one is evaluating the reaction of the prospect while the other one is talking. If one solicitor forgets an important part of the process, the second one can jump in. One model gift range chart does not fit every organization. Learn more about gift range charts and create one specifically for your campaign in this new super-affordable course on Gift Range Charts.

Creating Your Capital Campaign Gift Range Chart

Securing these large matching funds requires significant relationship building, reporting, and time from your development team. If your nonprofit doesn’t have the capacity to cultivate that type of partnership, consider crowdsourcing your matching fund. Major gifts will be the key to any successful campaign. Major gifts establish credibility and give the leaders a sense of accomplishment and confidence. Major gifts also set the tone for other donors’ giving patterns. Have them write down their prospects on a piece of scratch paper for the first go-round. Should two solicitors have the same person on their lists, they briefly discuss and decide right there which of them will take the prospect.

The gift amounts should be simple and standard to reflect a generic pattern rather than specific gifts you may already have in. Updates about your programs and services can be delivered by phone, email, in-person, or hand written note. Updates should be delivered twice annually to all prospects on your list. Persuade each of your prospects to take a tour, visit a program, or attend an event. Choose something you think will have the greatest impact on that individual. You want to create a plan for each of the individuals on your list. All of the plans can be similar, but you’ll need to tweak them depending on your existing relationship with each person.

Donors can have a short attention span with many distractions around, so you want to capture their interest quickly with the matching opportunity. The effort raised money to provide outdoor adventure programs to healthcare professionals working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the initiative, VF Foundation provided a matching gift for donations up to $50,000. One in three say they’d make a larger gift if they knew it would be matched. Matching campaigns are a great way to motivate your supporters. By knowing their donation will be doubled, supporters can feel like they’re making an even bigger impact toward your mission. Face-to-face fund raising can be daunting and is accomplished more comfortably in pairs.

I like to divide the giving categories into three levels, lead gift level, major gift level and general gift level. You can do this with spacing or two lines dividing the categories.

A Gift Range Chart will serve as your primary campaign planning tool. It’s absolutely essential that the pattern of gifts be developed specifically for your organization. With three broad giving levels, when you ask for the gift, you can show the chart and ask if the donor would consider a gift at one of the levels rather than a specific gift. Of course, with some donors, you will want to invite them to consider a specific amount–the top gift, for example.

This will be particularly important if your campaign is funding a building and you will recognize people through naming opportunities and wall plaques. Develop your donor recognition program so that it dovetails with you gift range chart. And simple sense is very helpful when it comes to explaining things to your donors and board members. I’ve spent the better part of my career helping people like you create a highly successful major gift fundraising program for their organizations.

Conclusion: Making Sense Of Your Campaign

Before you go any further, be sure you’ve pulled out a copy of your gift range chart. That’s the little planning chart you created in Step 3 of this series. People who are used to giving $500 are likely to do that again. And, yes, people who are used to giving $50,000 are likely to do that again. Don’t get me wrong, they won’t give $50,000 to your $15,000 campaign!

  • All of this information is highly confidential and all solicitors must be people who have a clear sense of discretion and can be trusted.
  • When you talk with your donors, you may wish to tell them how they will be recognized.
  • You’ll learn the ins and outs of each of these steps through the remainder of this guide.
  • Build your gift chart by starting with the top gift which should be at least 20% of your campaign goal.
  • Before you go any further, be sure you’ve pulled out a copy of your gift range chart.
  • But $50,000 donors will be comfortable giving larger gifts to larger projects.
  • I like to divide the giving categories into three levels, lead gift level, major gift level and general gift level.

The first steps in a major gifts campaign are to decide how long the campaign will last and how much money the campaign is to raise. For small organizations, a campaign of six weeks to three months is ideal, with four months a maximum. To determine a fundraising goal, calculate how much you should be able to raise with the number of volunteers you have. Generally, a volunteer can ask five people a month for three months without undue strain.

Election Campaign Donut Tags

Volunteering brings people closer to your organization and makes them more inclined to give. This can be at the beginning of your cultivation or toward the end, but you cannot get around it. An appropriate amount for a major gift is one that you have received a few gifts of that size or just above the top level. Even when donors say that recognition doesn’t matter, most people like to be recognized for a helping a great cause. As a general rule, most people will not give you a gift just because they get something named for them.

campaign gifts

The Capital Campaign Toolkit is a virtual support system for nonprofit leaders to run successful campaigns. You get all the tools, templates, and guidance you need — without breaking the bank. If, however, you coordinate your campaign plan to a Gift Range Chart, then, when you’re feeling lost, you’ll know where to turn. You’ll look at your chart to review which groups of donors have been solicited, as well as which are next up. Next, start filling out the names of people you can credibly ask for a gift at that level for your campaign. Sorting your donors into columns is done by evaluating their current giving, their potential to give, and their likely inclination.

Remember, major gifts don’t have to be over six figures to be considered major, and they aren’t only for capital campaigns. There’s no better way to skyrocket your annual fund than to infuse it with some major gift power.

Step 4

And even when considering how to thank and recognize donors, once you start thinking about it from the perspective of the giving levels in your Gift Range Chart, all of the planning will fall into place. You will need 2, 3 or even 4 times the number of prospects than the number of gifts. The prospect multiplier depends on how well you know your donors.

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