Are Your Major Donors Qualified?
With everyone talking about being "donor-centered," you would think qualifying a donor is a no-brainer for most nonprofits, right? Wrong.
Whenever we mention qualifying a donor, we get this really strange look on people's faces.
"What is that? You mean, you want me to ask a donor if they want to have a more personal relationship? That's kinda weird."
Actually, it's not weird if done right. But it is critical if you want passionate major-gifts donors supporting your mission.
The problem is that when you don't correctly qualify a major-gifts donor, you end up with a lot of donors on a caseload who actually stop giving, become C- or D-level donors, and are no longer engaged with your organization.
And, from some of the major-gifts files we have audited, I can tell you this is a major reason there is so much donor attrition from year to year … there are a bunch of donors who don't want to be part of a caseload!
It's really quite sad, yet so easy to remedy.
Now, when you do have a caseload of real, qualified donors, you now have donors who want to be engaged with you. They're on board! And, if done right, in the qualifying process you are going to learn a ton of information that will help you honor and serve them in future.
Believe me, when donors feel like you are honoring their wishes, whether they want to be on a caseload or not, you create trust and mutuality with the relationship for you and your organization.
So, how do you qualify a donor? Here is how we do it at Veritus Group.
1. Review everyone who has met your major-gifts criteria as they relate to current giving. That might be $500 total year to date, $1,000 year to day or more. We call this measurement "inclination." How is your donor currently giving, and does it show inclination to give? Next, look at capacity. What is the donor's ability to give? Use any of the wealth indicators to get to this information. It is the confluence of inclination and capacity that gives you the clue that the donor meets your giving metric.
Jeff Schreifels is the principal owner of Veritus Group — an agency that partners with nonprofits to create, build and manage mid-level fundraising, major gifts and planned giving programs. In his 32-plus year career, Jeff has worked with hundreds of nonprofits, helping to raise more than $400 million in revenue.