3 ways to attract major donors to your nonprofit

Every charitable organization dreams about landing a major donor, one that funnels financial firepower into the organization through by means of a large donation. These types of benefactors can be difficult to reach, since big gifts typically have to be cultivated over time. Smaller charities often face hurdles in attracting major donations because the larger organizations are often vying for the same dollars, but that's not to say they can't compete with their bigger counterparts just because they lack the size and resources.

A well-experienced, committed staff can take any sized charity to new heights and increase its donation processing with the help of these three tips:

  1. Identify "major donation" on your own terms: Some nonprofits operate at different levels than others, so the first step in acquiring a major gift is to actually determine what your organization deems a considerable donation. Large groups may be thinking in the six-figure range, while small-to mid-sized entities may have their sights set on four and five-figure donations. It's important to set the expectations up front, but it's equally as valuable to set a high goal, according to industry website the Fundraising Authority. Major donors like to invest in big ideas and visions, so why not set the bar high in the first place?
  2. Assess current donor movement: Any size nonprofit will likely have a current database of donor contacts, so before an organization goes out and meets with major donors, it must evaluate who is currently giving, and how much is being allocated for each gift. A good way of assessing prior donor activity is by analyzing who has given above the major donor threshold in years past, Social Velocity suggests. Once the major player amount has been determined, see who has given in excess of that number in the past and try to repeat its success. 
  3. Delegate resources accordingly: It typically takes time for any organization to acquire a major donation, so your nonprofit will likely have to budget resources in order to do so. Some charities assign certain individuals to focus on major donations specifically, while others invest in more robust donation management software so it can handle larger gifts, Social Velocity added. Whatever the strategy may be, nonprofits need to outline what types of resources they are going to delegate in order to acquire a committed, major benefactor.
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