Stand Out.You may not like to hear this, but there are other major gift officers from other organizations who are cultivating the donors in your portfolios.
I know, it sounds crazy, but your donors have passions and interests outside of your organization’s mission.
But from the experience that Richard and I have had, with working with hundreds of non-profits and over 1,000 different MGOs over the last 15 years, we can tell you that your competition is doing a terrible job at building relationships with donors.
Quite frankly, they’re awful at it.
This is where you have a great opportunity. If you implement the list I’m giving you below, you’ll stand way out from among your colleagues at other non-profits, and your donors are going to gravitate toward you in a way you never thought possible.
First, the basics.

  1. Only qualified donors in your caseload, no more than 150.
  2. Have a revenue goal for every donor.
  3. Create a 12-month strategic plan, with at least 1 touch point per month for each donor.
  4. Tier your donors A-C.
  5. Meet with your manager every week to stay focused and accountable.

If you did just what I outlined above, you’d be way ahead of your colleagues. So many major gift fundraisers are running around with too many donors on their caseload who don’t want to be contacted, they have no plan, and they are shooting from the hip. Having this structure will allow you to work smart, giving you more time to focus on the right donors and develop deeper relationships with donors.
Again, most major gift fundraisers are NOT doing this. You get a leg up on them if you do.
Serving Outrageously

  1. Schedule at least 2 hours per week to think about your donors and what they’re interests and passions are. Both as they relate to your mission, but also in general.
  2. Surprise your donors from time to time by showing them you know them. This could mean sending them an article that relates to their job, or their family, or a hobby of theirs.
  3. Show your donors the impact they’re making with their gifts in creative, simple ways throughout the year that they won’t expect. For example, ask the CEO to send a selfie-video thanking the donor by name for their gifts.
  4. Send a hand-written thank you note.
  5. Prepare for a significant ask by prepping the donor for it six months in advance. Meet with program, finance and leadership to come up with a strategy that will lead the donor to make a transformational gift.

Okay, if you do these 10 things, you’ll be going above and beyond anyone else who is cultivating, stewarding and soliciting your donor from another non-profit. Richard and I know this for a fact, because most non-profits are doing a terrible job building relationships with their donors.
You can stand out by doing these things. We have story after story of MGOs who do these 10 things, and the results are absolutely phenomenal.
Tell you what – do these 10 things and tell us about the amazing things that are happening to your portfolio because of it, and we’ll have you as a guest on our podcast “Nothing But Major Gifts.
We want to tell your story so others can be inspired to serve their donors and be successful.