Giving societies and membership programs suppress giving from major donors. They’re not bad in themselves, but we use them in counter-productive ways.
Major gifts work is often compared to selling. Selling is the exchange of money for property, goods or services, while major gift programs facilitate the exchange of money for the fulfillment of a donor’s interests and passions. If a MGO can successfully identify a donor’s interests and passions and match them to a program his organization is executing, then the money comes in naturally.
You need to find ways – sometimes surprising or unusual ways – to break through the daily clutter and noise of a donor’s life. When they notice you, it can be a pleasant surprise.
Don’t force yourself on major donors – a respectful relationship with your donor starts with you knowing his interests and passions, then serving those interests in passions in the manner the donor directs.
When you construct any message to your donors, regardless of the media, I suggest you pay attention to the following five principles to keep the right content in the center of your message.
There is a fine line between taking what a donor says at face value, following it blindly and without question, and using your judgment and discerning a course of action that represents how the donor really feels.