I see so very many nonprofits limping along in their major gifts efforts until they want to embark on a capital campaign.
Then they stall because they don’t have any major donors or influential leaders ready to step up.
Want to Raise Big Money? Do This NOW!
And major gifts are not rocket science. They just take commitment and focus.
- Identify 10 major potential donors. They may be foundations, corporations, individuals, organizations, government agencies, or current donors.
- Get in front of them.
- Make friends with them. Ask their advice.
- Bring them on tours. Ask them for help.
- Listen, listen, listen to them. Ask them why they care about your cause.
- Build trust by following up and doing what you say you will do when you said you would do it.
- Keep in contact with them MONTHLY — at the very minimum.
What Are Your Roadblocks?
But, you might say, “I am too busy! My other responsibilities are vacuuming up all my time! I am running around going to meetings, creating reports, planning events, writing letters, filling out grant applications, and selling tickets.”
Or you might say, “My boss expects me to be in the office all the time. She doesn’t understand that I need to be out of the office making calls.”
Yes, alas. There are always plenty of roadblocks:
- Time traps
- Deadly meetings
- Unenlightened bosses.
We all have plenty of excuses and distractions.
But I’m telling you plain and simple…
Unless you commit to getting in front of these donors, you’ll NEVER raise the big money your capital campaign needs.
Your campaign will remain only a hope, a dream. It will never become a reality, because you won’t have the prospects you need.
This type of relationship building takes time. You need to really get to know your donors. It takes face time. Person to person time.
Major gift and capital campaign fundraising is a BODY CONTACT SPORT.
Here’s How You Set Your Nonprofit Up To Raise Big Money
1. Set a goal of at least three donor visits a week, no matter what is happening in the office, with your board, with your staff, in your life.
2. Get your boss and peers to buy in and support you in this. Help them understand why it’s so very important.
3. Commit to your boss in your work goals that you’ll be making 12 calls a month. (This is scary because you are making yourself accountable.)
4. Hold a monthly meeting with your boss to review progress on your top 10 donors and discuss next step strategies. (This is the most important step because it sets up a support and reporting mechanism. If you know you’ll be meeting with your boss monthly to review the calls you’ve made, then you will MAKE the priority!)
It’s About People — Not Money
Implement this plan and you’ll be rewarded with close donor relationships.
You’ll have people who really care about your cause: new volunteers, new leaders, new connections, new support, and new investments. You’ll raise more money. You’ll also have warm personal friendships with some wonderful people.
Fundraising can be so very, very rewarding — and fun — when it becomes all about people and not about their money.