Securing Large-Scale Annual Major Gifts Requires Time & Passion
Over the many years of fundraising, I have experienced a multitude of wins worthy of mention. One of the profound areas I have been positively impacted has been in the area of serving major donors. Throughout my nonprofit experience, I saw good will multiplied due to the generosity of high-net-worth donors.
As a Major Gifts Officer for a previous employer, my role was to serve individuals, couples and foundations in hopes that they would invest five, six and seven-figure investments in the organizational mission. I acquired a portfolio of donors whom I traveled to visit 10 months of every year.
My responsibility consisted of keeping them abreast of missional updates, answering questions, cultivating relationships, acquiring new major donors and asking these donors to consider large-scale annual investments.
One family in particular will remain in my heart forever. During my first year of employment, I noticed the matriarch and patriarch were generously investing $5,000 a year in the organization. My hope was to not only retain this donor couple but to see that their annual investment would increase from the first year I started at my employer.
How Donor Giving Was Increased From $5,000 to $250,000 Annually
Not unlike other major givers, I treated this particular couple as "an audience of one" with regard to communication with the family.
On my annual visits with this couple, often at their vacation home in Florida, it was a real treat when they would invite me to stay with their family versus overnighting at a hotel. During my visits, other family members were asked to attend dinners so I could collectively share inspirational stories relative to their investments.
I crafted personalized proposals that involved multi-year asks, detailed program overviews, projected outcomes, corresponding budgets, and a story on page one. I tailored proposals unique to their foundation’s giving guidelines and made introductions to other staff members at this nonprofit. I kept them highly engaged and informed.
Once the proposals were drafted and sent to the couple, I always scheduled a phone visit with both the husband and wife to garner feedback and ask them for their final decision. It was imperative that I respected both the husband and the wife since they were both profoundly involved and impacted.
Throughout the cultivation process, I was always readily available to answer questions and provide requested information about programs and various asks.
How a Giving Plan Built Passion Among Family Members and Increased Commitment
After the first year of serving this couple and the rest of their family, I noticed a real shift in terms of their commitment. Before my arrival, they were investing at a $5,000 annual level. In year two, their investment increased to $50,000 and by year three they were committed to giving $250,000 and did so willingly.
Each year, the husband and wife introduced me to additional family members during my annual visits to Florida, including their daughter-in-law, who led their family foundation. She was a profound person to meet and build a relationship with for investment considerations.
Before I transitioned from this employer to my next one, the family had asked me to assist them in creating a giving plan for the entire family which involved not only the children but the grandchildren too. Birthday, anniversary and Christmas gifts were replaced by donations to this nonprofit.
The entire family became passionate advocates for the organizational mission and noteworthy brand. They wanted to collectively impact worldwide communities while building a family legacy of generosity. I not only learned valuable skills and experiences with this plan, but was also moved by this family’s passion to do good in the world.
A Message From Our Founder
Because of this personal experience, along with many others, I am not only equipped to assist nonprofits but philanthropists and their families as well.
If you are in a position of high net worth and share an interest in helping society, then I would love to meet and explore all of your options available.
Feel free to contact our agency for assistance in major giving as well as other viable services.