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individual donor fundraising

A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Major Donors

Major DonorsAmid increasing competition for dollars, it is more critical than ever that nonprofits explore new opportunities for money. To help in this effort, I am delighted today to announce our newest step-by-step guide Attract Major Donors, which joins our growing list of tools to help nonprofits grow and become more financially sustainable.

This guide helps small and mid-sized nonprofits create a strategy for securing major donors–those wealthy individuals, corporate leaders or foundation officers who you get to know on an individual basis in order to convince them to invest in your organization.

What constitutes a major gift varies by nonprofit organization and depends on the size of the organization and the depth of their donor base. It could be as little as $100 for a small, grassroots organization and as large as $1,000,000 or more for a large, established organization. But this guide will help you determine that and much more.

Typically major donor campaigns are undertaken by larger, older nonprofit organizations. But I believe that any nonprofit organization can turn their board and staff into an army that can secure larger gifts.

Which is why I created this Attract Major Donors Guide. The Guide gives you concrete strategies for how to:

  • Get your board involved
  • Organize your staff
  • Find prospects
  • Establish a major donor fundraising goal
  • Ask prospects for gifts
  • Thank donors
  • And much more

At the end of each section of the guide, the “Your Major Donor Plan” part walks you through a series of questions or tasks. Your answers there become the basis for your final Major Donor Plan. Your plan will organize your staff and board to raise major dollars for your nonprofit.

This Attract Major Donors Guide is broken into the following sections:

  1. What is a Major Donor?
  2. How to Use This Guide
  3. Major Donor Goal
  4. Finding Prospects
  5. Moving Prospects to Donors
  6. Staff and Board Roles
  7. Building Fundraising Infrastructure
  8. Operational Plan
  9. Next Steps

My hope is that this guide shows small and medium sized nonprofits that major gifts are not out of the realm of possibility for them. To the contrary, major gifts could be the missing link to a bigger, better, more effective organization.

Download the Attract Major Donors Guide

 

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How to Find Individual Donors

When I speak to groups of nonprofit boards and staff, they are often shocked when I reveal how money flows to the nonprofit sector. Thinking that foundation grants are the holy grail of funding, many nonprofits hire a grant writer and spend countless hours and resources chasing highly competitive grants. But the fact is that barely 2% of the money flowing to the nonprofit sector comes from foundations. A much larger portion, over 11%, comes from individuals:

But many nonprofits don’t know how to raise money from individuals. For them, it seems somehow easier to research foundation guidelines, put together a proposal that answers each question, and hope for the best. But individual donor fundraising can help diversify a nonprofit’s funding picture, and major donor fundraising in particular, which requires a one-on-one relationship building mode,l can be a great way to systematically expand a nonprofit’s network and funding. It is also the highest and best use of a board member’s fundraising time.

To help nonprofits understand individual donor fundraising and how to get moving in that direction, the next webinar in our ongoing Financing Not Fundraising webinar series focuses on how to bring individual donors in the door.

The Finding Individual Donors webinar will give you tools and strategies to:

  • Understand the differences between smaller donor fundraising and major donor fundraising
  • Define a major gift for your organization
  • Use social media to connect with individual supporters
  • Create events that resonate with individual donors
  • Identify prospects
  • Engage your board in individual donor fundraising
  • Create a system for engaging individual donors
  • Launch a major donor campaign
  • Break an individual donor dollar goal into pieces to make the goal achievable

And much more.

If you want to attract individual contributors to your nonprofit, but don’t know how to get started, or if you would like to expand the individual donors you already have, this webinar will show you how.

 

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