Angela also explores why so few organisations achieve their potential from major donors and how they can do so.
|Statement||Truth or Myth?||Key Point||Key Action|
|It takes along time to get a major gift||Truth and myth||You can get a gift in a very short space of time; you may get the gift in a long time||Don’t overly focus on the “perfect” process and ask|
|Successful capital campaigns are about securing the right lead gift early and working top down||Myth||The lead gift may not be a defined % of the appeal total, may not come early and may come from a surprising source||Focus on leadership or stretch gifts from those closest to create the cascade down and leverage up|
|All fundraising organisations can develop major donor fundraising||Truth||If the need is powerful and the Board and senior team passionate, they’ll find the connections||Focus on your organisation’s connections and use them relentlessly|
|Capital campaigns have a sequential private and public phase||Myth||Generic campaigns need the public phase to create engagement and demonstrate public interest for major donors||Adapt your strategy to your course|
|Major donor fundraising is only as good as your prospect reseach||Truth||Prospect research is vital when focused on the right things: capacity, propensity, connection||Don’t let research get in the way of building real relationships|
|Asking is the job of the volunteer||Myth||The “best” asking is usually done by a volunteer – but it’s not the only route||Sometimes the right thing to do is for the staff to ask|
|Your supporter base is the right place to look for prospects||Truth||But it’s not just your donor base – it’s your broader supporter base of local volunteers and beneficiaries||Start with who you know and work rigourously and relentlessly out|
|A major donor led campaign is a way to transform income||Truth||Major donor campaigns build donors, networks and fundraising skills||Make your campaign a success! failures are hard to recover from|
|The rich are different from you and me… yes they have more money||Truth and myth||The quote is true, but major donors aren’t different – they want impact and demand more than lower level donors||Understand and respond to the needs of your major donors – however complex – they are|
In =mc’s experience there are 6 reasons why organisations find it so hard to make real progress in major donor fundraising:
There is only one answer! The theory is easy, the practice is extraordinarily hard. So stop reading the theory, go build your experience and that will show you how to apply the theory. Good luck – and call =mc if you need help.
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Clare Segal, Director