[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]
Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook

July 29, 2016

Be Strategic about Leadership Gift Development

imageSecuring leadership gifts can seem like a daunting task, but these gifts are critical, as they create a cornerstone on which the campaign may be built. Of course, the first steps include uncovering new prospects and cultivating donor relationships. Start with the basics:

When strategizing about developing relationships with prospects and donors, use research-based information to evaluate the philanthropic factors such as capacity, interest, and history of giving. Not everyone will be a major donor, but potential lead gifts may rise to the surface as you analyze donor records and other pertinent information.

If you have a prospect who has the capacity to make a major gift, but does not yet have a history of giving to your organization, spend time learning about the prospect. What unique strategies can you implement to cultivate the relationship? Develop lower-level donors into higher-levels through communication and passion. Don't assume donors will come to you. Don't give up on the potential of a major gift unless you have invested adequate time building the relationship. Failure to cultivate and grow relationships could mean losing the potential of turning prospects into donors.

Get busy identifying pools of people who care the most about your nonprofit's mission and engage them in the life of the organization. When you identify prospects for large gifts, remember not all prospects need to have the largest financial capacity in order to lend a hand. While affluence and influence often go hand in hand, this is not always the case. Some will bring other individuals to the table whose gifts can impact the organization in a major way.

Individual prospects and donors will impact your organization in different ways. Of course, you have no control over a prospect's capacity to give a major gift. However, through good research, you can uncover prospects, and through focused implementation of a major gift strategy that includes continued cultivation, you can help influence a prospect's interest in giving a significant gift to your organization.

Geoff Burns, Vice President (Columbus, Ohio) [email protected]


logoJoin Us on the Growing Philanthropy Tour

Next stops on the road to achieving Hartsook's mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:

New York
August 1-4, 2016

Fundraising University
The Jewish Federations of North America Professional Institute
Adrian Sargeant

Kansas City
August 15, 2016

Inspired Fundraising Summit
Adrian Sargeant
Jen Shang

Charlotte, N.C.
August 18, 2016

2016 NC AFP Statewide Conference
"Sustainable Fundraising"
Karin Cox
Janell Johnson

New Orleans
August 24-26, 2016

Boy Scouts of America Top Hands
Matt Beem
Ross Pfannenstiel
Tammy Weinman

Brussels, Belgium
August 30-September 2, 2016

CASE Europe Annual Conference
"Outstanding Fundraising: Just What is the Role of Boards?"
Adrian Sargeant

Washington, D.C.
September 15, 2016

NonProfit Times Power and Influence Gala
Hartsook Sponsor

Kansas City
October 26, 2016

Shepherd's Centers of America
National Conference
Karin Cox

Kansas City
November 2016

AFP Mid-America Chapter
National Philanthropy Day
Hartsook Sponsor

November 18, 2016

National Philanthropy Day
"Relationship Buidling: What Works and What Doesn't"
"Donor Retention and Loyalty"
Adrian Sargeant

November 22-23, 2016

Directory of Social Change Fundraising Fair 2016
Adrian Sargeant

Oklahoma City
August 2017

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
"Relationship Building: Where Do We Go From Here?"
Adrian Sargeant

August 2017

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
"Massive Fundraising"
Adrian Sargeant

Past Stops on the Tour

Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle

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Book Deal of the Monthimage

Hartsook President and CEO Matt Beem's book Performance-Driven Fundraising: Taking Control of Your Success shares decades of fundraising insights and features campaign success stories. Performance-Driven Fundraising will help accelerate anyone's learning curve and serve as a valuable reference tool for new and seasoned fundraisers. Go here for a special price of $10 (plus shipping and handling).

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Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, [email protected]. If you'd like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact [email protected].

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