Maximising major gifts
Major gifts are a crucial element of the fundraising mix, for both revenue income and capital campaigns. But organisations can feel major gifts aren’t for them, or it’s too difficult to establish an effective programme. How best can organisations, big or small, go about maximising major gifts?
Over six decades, Craigmyle has worked with clients across many sectors – education, faith, welfare and community, arts and heritage – supporting successful major gift approaches. Here are some important tips distilled from our experience on how best to maximise major gifts for your charity:
- Comprehensive, thorough and realistic research and evaluation to identify prospective donors (indiivduals, trusts and companies). Rather than a one-off, this should be an ongoing process as prospects emerge throughout the campaign
- Strong and passionate volunteer leadership is crucial to major gift success – identify and approach active and committed people, using clear Terms of Reference to set out expectations
- Preparation is everything! Ensure everyone is fully briefed and coordination systems are in place so actions are followed up and progress is tracked
- Allocate approaches – Leaders should have their own list to approach, against which they can report progress. With influential busy people it makes sense to spread the workload so they don’t have too many at one time.
- Nothing works better than a face-to-face personal approach – ensure the team understands this and takes the time to secure face to face meetings. More than one meeting may well be necessary.
- At the start, concentrate on quality, enabling intial major gifts to set the pace
- Identify gift opportunities, such as naming opportunies or other donor recognition that you can offer. Be flexible and remember some major givers may wish to remain anonymous.
Whether you’re building a major gifts campaign, or want to make the most of a few well-placed supporters, it’s worth investing time and effort into maximising major gifts.
If you want to discuss how we can help you prepare for a major gifts campaign, or how we can support your major gifts work then do get in touch.