I asked a couple of colleagues to share their success stories with making major donor solicitations. These stories are encouraging and paint a picture of how to build a strong relationship with your donors.
Giving from the heart is the essence of major giving. After serving in a volunteer capacity as a member of our golf tournament committee, I asked “Doug” to consider making a five-year commitment to our organization. I was nervous – because I made it clear that I still needed his commitment as a volunteer, but this was an additional ask, one that would also allow me to recognize him as participating in the campaign we were undertaking. He not only gave a gift, he doubled my original ask, and did so with great emotion and pride. He had been waiting for us to ask him. He wanted to give – he truly didn’t know how or where to give.
Jeremy Kraut-Ordover, CFRE
Major Gift Officer
Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation
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I assumed the role of Executive Director a year ago. A part of my responsibility is financial development among major donors.
My agency had seen a significant drop in financial support beginning in 2008. One of the first and primary priorities was to connect in meaningful ways with current donors. I worked at scheduling face-to-face meetings. I also gathered as much information and data as possible.
I discovered from another donor, that one of our donors was experiencing rather significant growth. This gentleman had contributed previously, though not significantly. I was able to get an initial appointment with him, through the donor who had provided the information. I took pictures and stories with me that validated the difference his donation had made. During that meeting I asked and he committed to a visit of our work overseas.
Once on the field, we gave him a tour of our work, allowing him to see firsthand what was being done. We made sure to connect with his “heart”, by showing him those things that he had told us he was passionate about. We compiled a presentation document that gave 3 options. The result – a commitment of over $1 million over the next year, much more significant than previous gifts. The keys – personal contact and an educated “ask.”
(Name Removed for Confidentiality)
If you have stories to share, please comment. It is encouraging to all of us in the trenches raising money.