Part 4 of a 5-part series: The Mid-Year Major Gift Check Up List
There are two donors in your current caseload who can give your organization a six or seven figure gift!
“What?! In my caseload?”
How do I know this? Because I have not, in all my career, ever seen a qualified caseload that didn’t have a high-potential donor in it – or even two or three. Note, I said qualified caseload – a list of donors you have interacted with and who have said that, in some form or another, they want to relate more personally to the organization via a relationship with you.
Now, if you haven’t qualified your caseload, I don’t expect you’ll know whether there are high potential donors in it. And that’s something you need to address first.
But back to those two donors in your caseload…
They’re in there. They have the potential to give you over $100,000, but they haven’t. Why?
Well, that brings me to the list of four reasons MGOs won’t be able to secure a major gift:

  1. They don’t know the donors on their caseloads. Jeff and I are continually amazed at how many MGOs do not know the donors on their caseloads. All we need to do is sit down with the MGO, get the caseload list out and go down the donors one by one to discover how much the MGO doesn’t know about the donor. Do this yourself in the privacy of your office. Look at each donor on the list and ask yourself how many you really know. If there aren’t many, get busy. It’s important.
  2. They don’t believe the donor will give that much. So the MGO may know that the donor has the potential to give a large gift, but there’s a little voice inside that tells him, “she won’t give it to us.” I think that’s a confidence thing or something related to a fear of getting a “no.” Or, as I heard from one MGO once, “Look, Richard, I’m not going to ask NAME for that large of a gift because it might take money away from the other interests he has.” Wow. I now have a MGO making value judgments for the donor. Goodness. Please listen. It’s NOT up to you to decide what the donor will give. It’s up to you to create a compelling offer that matches the donor’s interests and passions, and present it. Then, let the donor decide.
  3. They don’t have anything to present to the donor. The MGO knows the donor, the donor has the capacity, but the organization doesn’t have an offer with a price tag that is high enough. We see a lot of that. And it’s not that the organization doesn’t REALLY have an offer. It’s that the organization (finance, program, and major gifts) has not done the work necessary to create one. Jeff and I have a whole system that helps non-profits, large and small, package their entire budgets into offers. Yes, the entire budget – some as large as $100 million, others as small as $5 million. Here’s the thing: a non-profit budget – all of it – is nothing more than a bucket full of fundraising offers. (Tweet it!) But accountants don’t think of it that way, and that’s why fundraisers, especially MGOs, don’t have offers.
  4. They don’t have a plan. We’ve seen a lot of this going on too: Bold goals – Good donors – No plan. Hmmmm… this isn’t going to work. You know this, too, but you don’t DO anything about it. Why? Why don’t you have a plan for each of the donors on your caseload? Be honest. No one will hear you. I think the primary reason MGOs don’t have a plan for each donor on their caseload is because it takes too much work. Did I say the word lazy? Nope – that might be a little harsh. But how are you going to get there if you don’t have a destination (goal) and a plan? You’re not. So please do this work – if not for the donor or the organization – do it for yourself. Why? Because it will create success!

So about those two donors…
Here is what I’m saying. We’re almost at August 2019 right now. The fourth quarter of this calendar year is just around the corner, and there is still time to segment (tier) your donors. Within that tiering, identify just two donors who have the capacity and the inclination to give a large gift to your organization.
Spend the time to find them on your caseload in the next seven days. Then create a bold plan to ask big. This means you’ll spend a great deal of time on these two donors – more, than any other donor on the caseload.
But it will be worth it. Believe me.
Read the whole series — Mid-Year Check Up:

  1. Mid-Year Check Up #1: Look to See Who’s Been Left Behind
  2. Mid-Year Check Up #2: Which Donors Require More of Your Time?
  3. Mid-Year Check Up #3: Are You Upgrading Your Donors?
  4. Mid-Year Check Up #4: The Two Donors Who Can Give Big! (this post)
  5. Mid-Year Check Up #5: Are You Taking Care of Your Heart?