Are you anxious about whether your campaign will be successful? Do you wonder if your goal is too high? Are you unsure of where to start in what seems like a huge and complicated undertaking?
Well then, this post is for you!
A Quick Intro to Gift Range Charts
Very early in my professional career, I asked a senior professional in the field how I should think about raising $20,000 for a concert series I wanted to produce. At the time, that seemed like a huge amount of money. Enough money so that I sought advice from someone with lots of experience.
Create a gift range chart, Andrea, and then start raising the money from the top down. Go gift by gift and donor by donor, and, after a while, you will have raised the money.
I remember thinking at the time that the approach he proposed was too simple. Too pat. Too formulaic. I wondered how a little chart like that could possibly be the answer to may fundraising challenge.
But, because I had no experience and no other plan, I did what he told me to do. And two months later, I had raised my $20,000.
And so began my love of gift range charts!
Gift Range Charts: 3 Reasons They Work
Gift range charts are the most powerful tool in your fundraising planning toolbox.
You can and should use them to plan both your capital campaign and your year-in, year-0ut fundraising. Once you do, you’ll never think of fundraising in the same way again.
- You’ll be clear about what it will take to be successful;
- You’ll be able to shape an efficient and effective action plan;
- And you’ll be able to track your progress from beginning to end.
Don’t think of a gift chart as a little goodie to include in your campaign brochure. Instead, think of it as the primary organizing structure for your entire campaign.
Create a gift range chart for your campaign goal. Make sure it is tailored to fit your organization. Then use that to structure your fundraising program. You’ll find that with that armature or essential structure, your campaign will make sense.
Structure Your Fundraising By Giving Levels
At its heart, a gift range chart focuses your work according to giving levels rather than fundraising activities. Though you will, of course, continue to raise money in many ways, every one of them will be anchored in the gift chart.
You will evaluate how many gifts you need at what giving level. You will figure out how many qualified prospects you need at each level. And then you will make a plan to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward donors at each level.
Gift range charts provide the underlying structure for true donor-centric fundraising.
Six Things to Coordinate with Your Gift Range Chart
When creating your gift range chart, you’ll want to keep the following six things in mind.
1. Staff and Volunteer Responsibilities
Review job descriptions of staff members and key fundraising volunteers according to the donor levels of the gift range chart. You should assign specific responsibilities for lead gifts, major or mid-level gifts and general gifts.
2. Solicitation Sequence
Structure the order of the solicitation from the highest levels down. Though you will continue to work on donors who can give at the highest levels throughout your campaign, make sure you begin your campaign by focusing your attention on those critical few donors who can make your campaign successful. That’s where the money is and you should invest your time, attention and resources there!
The higher the giving level, the more individualized that solicitation approach should be. Make sure that you have enough staff and high level volunteers to solicit every prospect for the highest gift levels. And take the gift range chart with you when you go to solicit your donors. It will help them understand the context for their gifts.
4. Donor Recognition
Be sure you closely match naming opportunities and donor recognition levels with the giving levels of your gift chart.
Plan your communications strategy according to donor levels. The higher the gift level, the more frequent and personal the communication.
Make sure that you pay as much attention to stewarding people who have already made gifts to the campaign. You should thank and communicate with every donor, but make sure that you give special attention to the donors in the top categories of your gift chart. How you treat your lead donors after they give is the single, most important thing you can do to make sure they will want to give again.
Create a Gift Range Chart for Your Campaign
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 Gift Range Chart
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. This course will help you get yours right.