Did you know that there’s a report about $1 million dollar+ giving developed by Coutts in association with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy? Coutts is one of the world’s oldest banks and wealth management firms located in Scotland.
Anyway, their report is fascinating. Filled with lots of neat tidbits of data. But what I like best is the advice it provides.
Here are their bullet-points (straight out of the report) for generating $1 million+ donations. I bolded the parts I like best.
- Dream big about what you would do with a million dollar investment, and then have a clear and easy way to communicate this strategic vision.
- Don’t be afraid to spend money on fundraising. Many charities are reluctant to invest in this, but it pays off in the long term.
- Give a lot of thought in advance to how you will acknowledge your major donors. Discuss with them if, and how, they want to be recognised.
- Donors are people who possess assets and resources beyond money. Involve your donor in the charity and talk to them about their interests.
- Extend relationships with donors beyond the fundraising team. Philanthropists will often want to meet senior management as well as people on the front line of the charity.
- Planning and defined objectives are part of what earns you the right to be considered for large gifts. You need to have a plan for the future, whether it will take many gifts over a decade or a single 1 million dollar donation to realize it.
- Develop a relationship and build trust with the potential donor. Be patient and realistic about how long it will take to cultivate a donation of this size.
- Identifying potential donors is about relationships, not cold calling. If someone is willing to refer you and leverage their personal network for you, that’s a huge endorsement.
- Set out clear expectations on both sides at the start of a partnership; the best relationships are founded on honesty and genuine synergy between charity and supporter. Delivering what you say you will is, of course, vitally important.
- Be an expert in your field. Donors need to know that you have a good intellectual understanding of the issue or problem at hand, and a good understanding of how you are going to attack that issue.
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