Before the Year-end Fundraising Blitz, Your Grantees Get Primer on Major Gifts
One of the fundraising strategies Coaches encouraged grantees to try in the Jumpstart program is identifying a list of major gift prospects. They started by analyzing current donors and their giving history in their new donor management system, requesting a list of contacts from their board, and looking for philanthropists in your local area on other nonprofit donor honor rolls and annual reports.
Once they identified prospects, they thought through a variety of ways to reach out to build that relationship. One of the easiest is probably sitting on a desk right now: your phone. In this highly digital age, it’s easy to overlook a simple phone call as a way to reach out to potential donors.
Does your organization have a location where prospects could come and see firsthand the impact you make?
If so, consider calling your prospects and inviting them to meet you in person. Think about who else you could include on this tour, such as a programmatic staff person at your organization, a board member with a connection to that particular supporter, a volunteer, and/or someone who has benefited from the work of your organization in the past.
Does your organization have a new executive director, programmatic staff person, or fundraiser?
Or perhaps you joined your organization in 2018? If so, a new team member can be a great reason to call and make an introduction. Consider offering to share more information about a face to face before the end of the year.
Does your organization have a donor honor roll on your website or in your annual report?
Do you list donors above a certain dollar amount? If someone made it onto your list for the first time or was bumped up a level on your recognition list, call to let them know (and say thanks)!
Jumpstart Grantee Receives First Major Gift
After joining the Jumpstart program last spring, Peggy Derrick, Executive Director of the La Crosse Historical Society was excited to connect with her Personal Fundraising Coach, Kimberly O’Donnell and to learn as much as she could about fundraising.
“I definitely don’t have a background in fundraising. When I first started at La Crosse County Historical Society, I was behind the scenes managing the collection and working with interns. My position became much more high profile when I added director to my role. Even though fundraising isn’t something I enjoy or feel naturally comfortable with, I knew it was important to make my organization stronger and more sustainable.”
Kimberly encouraged Peggy to begin developing relationships with La Crosse County Historical Society’s existing members and to look for people who might be interested in doing more to support the organization. To get started, Peggy began making phone calls to introduce herself to those whom she had never met in person before.
“I began making phone calls to invite people for a meeting or a tour. Even though it can be daunting, it can really pay off! Recently I reached out to a couple who has been members of the Society for several years and giving around $150 annually. There were incredibly open and receptive to the idea of giving more. They ended up making a donation of $1,000! I was thrilled. It was my coach who encouraged me to try this out, and I wouldn’t be doing it without her.”
Where to next? Their 2018 year-end campaign.
“Three or four years ago, our year-end campaign only consisted of a letter. The only donations we received were because of that letter. Now that I am working with Network for Good, I know that we need to do more. I am excited to see what we can accomplish this year.”
Kudos to Peggy and Kimberly for trying out a new fundraising strategy, and best of luck with La Crosse County Historical Society’s year-end campaign!