How to build a relationship with major donors

Relationships are important in all fundraising efforts, but especially when it comes to attracting major donors. These prospects need to have a strong relationship with a nonprofit before making a large contribution.

Because major donors may have other organizations or people asking them for donations, it's important for nonprofits to catch their attention. Once the organization is in contact with the prospective donor, it should be as prepared as possible for the first meeting, according to The Nonprofit Times.

Major donations are not like small fundraising contributions. The relationship needs to be developed before nonprofits can jump straight to the ask, The Fundraising Authority said. Prospects can be invited to events or informed of volunteer opportunities. Members of the nonprofit should stay in contact with a potential major donor to deepen the relationship and increase the prospect's engagement.

Before asking a prospect to make a significant contribution, nonprofits should explain what the investment will do. People with the capability to make large gifts want their investment in a charitable foundation to deliver good outcomes to a large number of people. While organizations are nurturing the relationship, they need to uncover the donor's primary areas of interest. Charities should explain what they are hoping to accomplish, how the funds will be used and how the gift will help the cause.

Like other gift givers, major donors want to have an emotional connection with an organization, according to The Fundraising Authority. If nonprofits tell a compelling story that resonates with a prospect, the donor can become a long-term supporter of the organization. After a benefactor makes a large donation, the nonprofit should stay in touch with the individual. He or she can be engaged with newsletters and quarterly updates, which will keep the relationship strong over time. 

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