Monday, June 4, 2012

The Process of Landing the BIG Gift

A short article about the gift of $2.5 million by a Pennsylvania businessman to a regional environmental group included a description of how the gift came about.  In that are lessons on the process of securing a major gift that anyone can and should use successfully to secure those significant gifts needed to fund special projects.  Here is how it worked for this gift:

1)    The donor was already a regular contributor to the organization.  By regular evaluation of loyal donors, the staff was able to identify those donors who have the wherewithal to make a larger gift.

2)    Over a period of years, the donor was “cultivated.”  That means that the organization simply got to know him better.  Learned why he was a donor.  Invited him to special events that reflected his particular interests.  Made him an “insider.”  Sought his advice on issues and activities. 

3)    When the time and project were right, someone asked for the gift. 

This gift could not have been accomplished without the effort of getting to know why those who give to an organization do so.  It probably would not have happened if the donor had not been made to feel personally involved in the mission of the organization. 

What’s the message? Look over your donor lists. Find ways to get your donors – especially those who seem to have excellent financial means – personally involved. Philanthropy should make the donor as happy as the recipient.  Make sure that is the case when you seek the big gift.

Need a short one to two hour consultation?  Ask me about rates for both telephone and in-person consults.  Or sponsor ABCs of Fund Raising!  Contact me for a quote to bring a half-day or full-day seminar to your community.