Are Your Major Donors Qualified?
So, I have a bit of a rant.
Here is something I see all the time in nonprofit fundraising, and it really has to stop!
A donor who has a fairly long history of giving, $50 here, $100 there in response to regular mail or e-appeals, suddenly gives a big check for $1,000, or $5,000. That's awesome, right? Yep.
But then, WHAM! Immediately, that donor is taken out of the regular donor communication stream and put into someone's caseload as a major donor because she hit the almighty $$ criteria.
The $$ criteria is someone's idea that simply implies that because a donor used to give X and now gives Y, he or she is now part of the major-gifts program.
When a donor is handled this way, in the majority of cases we've come across, that donor's giving actually goes down. Why? For two reasons: 1. The donor who was getting 15-22 touches a year now gets two or three, and 2. the person in charge of cultivating this "major donor" forgets about him because he or she is going after "bigger fish" on the file.
This is why Richard and I always advocate qualifying a donor before introducing that donor to a major-gifts program. Qualifying? What do you mean, Jeff?
I mean actually asking the donor if he or she wants to be part of a group of donors who receives personal attention from an individual.
The reason for qualifying a donor is that just because a donor meets a certain dollar figure or WealthEngine indicator does not necessarily mean the donor wants to be part of a major-gifts program or relate on a personal basis.
In fact, our experience is that many donors don't want to be part of a major-gifts program. In fact, only one out of three donors who meet a major-donor criteria actually want to relate more personally. This means that a majority of major-gifts officer caseloads have 50 percent or more donors on them that don't want to relate personally! What a waste!
If you like baseball, tennis, golf, Gregorian chant, jazz, rock, good wine and deep conversation, then you’ll like to hang out with Jeff.
If you are passionate about fundraising, Jeff will inspire you to be a true “broker of love” for your donors, helping you bring together a donor’s desire to change the world and the world’s greatest needs. Jeff believes that if nonprofits truly want to grow and obtain more net revenue for their mission, it will come through creating, building and successfully managing major-gift programs. The Connections blog will give you inspiration and practical advice to help you succeed. Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit fundraising experience and is senior partner of the Veritus Group.