Tips and tricks for Target Analytics products/services.

Five Reasons Your Charity Didn’t Get A Major Gift Last Week

We know this innately – you get what you ask for.  It’s not magic – it’s human nature.  If you didn’t write a check or go online today to make a donation to a charity, it’s likely because you weren’t asked.  We respond to requests for action.  Making a donation to charity isn’t something you just do one day – you have to be asked - so do your donors. 

 

Five:  You Don’t Know a Major Donor When You See One

Every charitable organization is different – your donors are too.  A major donor for one of us, is not a major donor for another.  Do you know what qualifies as a major donor at your organization?  The definition varies as widely as our missions – the true answer is “It will change over time.”
Take this simplistic view as a baseline:
  • If you have fewer than 100 people making gifts of $1,000 or more to you annually – your major gift is likely $1,000 and it’s where you should dedicate time to identification, cultivation and solicitation.One major gift fundraiser can carry a caseload of 75-150 prospects and personally solicit 33% of them each year.This simple math can get you started thinking about major giving and your prospect pipeline.
  • Take the “100” formula and expand it if you need to:If you have fewer than 100 people making gifts of $2,500 or higher…….
You get the picture.  But you can’t just increase your definition of a major gift.  You’ll need one staff person to keep the $1,000 donor pool growing, while stewarding and renewing those already there and another staff person to manage the higher prospects at $2,500 or whatever the dollar amount that’s appropriate for you.  It’s all a numbers game.  But in the end your numbers equal mission funding
If you’re a Target Analytics customer – you already have the data you need.  Are you using your project results?  Your analytic scores, donor segmentation and prospect research information are powerful and accurate.  The Target Analytics consulting team can help you navigate these if you’ve gotten lost.  We live and breathe this stuff.  Let us help you! 

Four:  You Don’t Have a Cultivation Funnel

By another name, I mean a moves management system.  If you’ve got a lot of major donor prospects that you have talked to at least once, but still don’t get lots of major gifts, then you don’t have an effective system.  Moves management can be a simple or a complex system for moving your prospects from first meeting to a gift solicitation.  It takes a series of planned regular communications, cultivation, and relationship-building to get from A-to-B.   The straightest line is with a systematized method that includes tracking and reporting as well.
Blackbaud’s CRM software products have built-in fields and reports.  Are you using them? Check out the Knowledgebase to see how to set up and apply actions and action tracks or sign up for live training to learn more about prospect management functions available in your software.  Check out this downloadable presentation on the importance of prospect management

Three:  You Didn’t Ask For a Major Gift

We know this innately – you get what you ask for.  It’s not magic – it’s human nature.  If you didn’t write a check or go online today to make a donation to a charity, it’s likely because you weren’t asked.  We respond to requests for action.  It’s like taking out the trash when you’re 10.  Making a donation to charity isn’t something you just do one day – you have to be asked (and maybe asked again).  Our donors are the same and your Cultivation Funnel gives you the means and timing necessary. 
Asking for donations becomes more comfortable the more you do it.  “Practice makes perfect” as they say.   The Fundraising Coach website provides three simple phrases that work for many solicitors.  Here they are: 
  1. "Would you consider a gift of $____?" (fill in the blank with your gift ask amount)
  2. "Honestly, I have NO idea how much to ask you for, but is a gift of $______ something you'd be able to consider?"
  3. "The entire project is $__________ (total amount needed). To reach that, we need three leaders at the $_______ level. You seemed like a great fit." [Example:“The entire project is $4 million. To reach that, we need three leaders at the $200,000 level.]
These phrases are good because they’re non-confrontational and they each have a specific ask amount.  Most people will tell you if your ask amount is too high.  Some may tell you that your ask is too low (though this is unlikely).  And, many may ask to ‘think about it’.  That’s fine.  Follow-up is a great thing – and it doesn’t mean “No!  I’m not going to make a donation.” 

The phrase I’ve adopted is something like this:

  • “I’ve made my own commitment to the project.Would you consider joining me with a gift of $_____________ (fill in the blank with your gift ask amount).Together, we can make this goal a reality.”
If your prospect/donor asks for time to think about your request, say something along the lines of:
  • “I understand you’ll want to think about this.I did too when I was first approached for my personal commitment.In the end, I knew this project was worthy of my support.In fact, my pledge to the project was my largest charitable gift to date. I couldn’t be more pleased that I made it.With you permission, I’ll check in with you at the end of the week after you’ve had some time to consider our request.”
Two: You’re Not Asking Donors for Upgrades

Every major gift team should have a process in place for not only asking major donors to renew their last gift, but also to increase the size of their gift.  Your Target Analytics project may have assigned each individual with a next ask amount range.  These ranges were statistically calculated through an analysis of their transactional giving history to your organization, as well as additional financial, demographic, behavioral and lifestyle attributes available to us through public data sources.    Our recommended gift range aligns with their ability and potential to give a gift specifically to your organization.  If you’re not sure how to employ your results you can take action
  • Sign up for the Analytics Learn session that corresponds to your product purchase.We have live trainings on using your Fundraising Essentials, Target Gift Range (Annual and Major Giving Modeling) or Next Ask Amount for Raiser’s Edge NXT (Introduction to Analytics in RE NXT) scores. 
One:  You Haven’t Built a Relationship with Your Major Donor Prospects

Every so often you hear a story about love at first sight.  The couple, 80-something now, met at a dance and were married within the month.  60 years later – they’re still together.  So it happens!  But not likely to happen with your major donor prospects.  They need to courted and wooed and taken on dates. They want and need to get to know you and what you stand for and learn about your hopes and dreams for the future.  Some need to meet your friends and maybe your parents before they accept your proposal for a commitment.  Think of this as dating – and your Target Analytics project results as “the eHarmony of fundraising!”  We’ve used science to match you with prospects who share your interests.  It works!  Hey thousands of organizations that use our products can’t be wrong.
If you need a refresher in relationship-building with major gift prospects, check out How to Date Your Major Donor.  It’s quick-to-read with seven moves management steps to remember. 

If you didn’t get a major gift last week is it because of one of my reasons?  If so, use this summer to evaluate and enhance your fundraising efforts and processes.  By fall you could be dating again – and, the major gifts will be rolling in
 

 
Posted by Katherine Swank on May 31, 2016 5:12 PM America/New_York

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