10 Ideas for How to Chat It Up With Major Donors
If you are like most nonprofits, you define a major donor by the size of the gift to your organization. Some organizations set the major-donor threshold at $1,000 or more; for larger organizations that threshold may be set at $10,000 or more. Though in today’s world of donor-centered fundraising and constituent relationship management (CRM), shouldn’t we define a major donor based on different criteria?
In the book “Developing Major Gifts,” author Laura Fredricks defines a major gift as “a well-thought out personal decision.” In that case, isn’t a major donor anyone who makes a personal stretch gift after some serious consideration?
Let’s say I normally donate $100 a year to several different organizations and I decide to make a personal stretch gift of $1,000 to two organizations. I will probably be treated differently by those two organizations depending on their criteria for “size” of a major gift. But, shouldn’t both organizations notice that I increased my yearly giving by 900 percent and therefore reach out to me with a personal touch?
With thousands of donors (or hundreds of thousand of donors), the question then becomes how on earth can you possibly keep track of when a donor makes a significant increase in giving? The solution should be a CRM solution that can develop workflows to manage changes in data. Establish a workflow or business rule that indicates anyone who makes a 50 percent increase in annual giving, and in turn your major-donor reps are notified with an e-mail and prompted to call that donor to say thank you. Workflows can be established for different percent increases, so a 50 percent increase triggers a call from a major-donor rep, but a 100 percent increase triggers a call directly from the CEO.