Major Gift Fundraising Strategies in Uncertainty

Jun 19, 2020Leadership

Major-Gift-Fundraising-Strategies Leadership

 Major Gift Fundraising Strategies in Uncertainty

Have you adjusted your major gift fundraising strategies?

These days the new normal is uncertainty. Who would have thought three months into the pandemic we would still be in a holding pattern?

We are all trying to find some semblance of normalcy. But what does that look like?

What does major gift fundraising look like?

Here’s something for certain:

  • Fundraisers struggle to know the conversations with major donors after the second and third check-in. 
  • Nonprofit leaders feel paralyzed. 
  • Board members are hesitant to approve normal activity. 
  • Not all donors like or are comfortable with video conferencing.

How am I Supposed to Raise Money?

Definitely, nonprofit leaders have made numerous “love calls” to donors. But what is the next step? 

How are you supposed to raise money in this environment of uncertainly and with no end in sight?

You’re trying to determine what your major gift fundraising strategies look like.

Clearly, funds allow you to advance your nonprofit’s mission and overcome any budget shortfalls caused by the pandemic.

Let’s talk about major gift fundraising strategies in this new environment of uncertainty. But first, check out What’s Working with Fundraising Right Now. 

Major Gift Fundraising Strategies

Without a doubt, relationships are vital to fundraising success, particularly major gift fundraising. And to secure major gifts now, new fundraising strategies are needed to help you move forward.

Here are three top strategies to implement now:

1. Build Stronger Rapport with Current Donors

Most importantly, donors are answering their phones, engaging in deeper conversations, and revealing their passions toward your organizations.

Moreover, nonprofits are finding donors are spending more time asking and answering questions and revealing their motivations for giving. 

With that said, continue to utilize this time to call individuals, especially those aged 50 and older —  your ideal major donors — while they are still readily available to chat. In addition, check out COVID-19 Ways to Connect with Donors

Certainly, use this time to build rapport and get to know your donors better.

You don’t want to look back a year from now and wished you had made personal phone calls to each and every one of those on your Top 100 list . . . because you didn’t.

Today, go deeper with your relationships with your major donors.

2. Populate your Database

Also, it is amazing what fundraisers can gather from their long conversations with donors.

At times, fundraisers are confirming what they already knew about a donor’s interests and passions. Other times, new discoveries are made.

Either way, you are in a win situation and can fill your database with a great deal of valuable information about your donors. 

 3. Ask for Major Gifts over the Phone

You can’t meet in person? So what?

Absolutely, have “old fashion” phone calls to seek support.

Donors know you and are comfortable discussing a gift with you over the phone.

Ditch new technology momentarily! 

Furthermore, seniors do not want a face-to-face meeting with you! And many are not tech-savvy and want to spend the time learning video conferencing. In that case, go with what donors are most comfortable with – the phone!

For current donors, you already have established relationships.

Assuming you continued cultivating your current donors over the last few months of the virus disruption, give them a call. Ask if they are interested in discussing a major gift. Let them know you have something in particular in mind for them. If interested, set up a time to discuss the gift over the phone, and have others join the call as appropriate. 

In fact, check out Should you be Asking for Major Gifts During the Crisis?

SUMMARY: Major Gift Fundraising Strategies

Nonprofit leaders are trying to figure it out during this crazy time of uncertainty.

You are not alone.

Stay connected with your donors and push forward by making asks for major gifts over the phone.

It is working!

Nancy Rieves, Ed.D. is a fundraising coach. She provides overwhelmed nonprofit leaders of small organizations with a roadmap to maximize and sustain major gift fundraising. She prepares leaders to be confident and successful in raising money. Reach her at [email protected].

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