Every non-profit wants to grow their major gift revenue each year. Unfortunately, there are too many non-profit leaders and managers who think there need to be multiple strategies and a magic bullet to make that happen.

Let me put you at ease. There are only three healthy ways to grow revenue from donors in your portfolio.

  1. Retain donor value — In other words, at the very least help donors continue giving year over year at the same level of contribution. As Richard and I talk about all the time, non-profits are losing between 40-60% of revenue due to value attrition. If you reduce that value attrition, you gain revenue.
  2. Increase their giving each year — As you develop stronger relationships with donors and get to know them, you’ll be able to match their passions and interests to specific programs and projects the donor will be inspired to give more to.
  3. Solicit transformational gifts — Understand that the majority of your portfolio will not be able to give a high six, seven or eight figure gifts. But, if you have 150 donors, there are 2-3 (perhaps more) who can contribute significantly to your non-profit over time. This is how the value of your portfolio will take off.

This is it. If you qualify, cultivate, steward and serve your donors well, this is the only way you’ll grow your portfolio. Many donors you’ll just retain; some donors will give more each year; and less than a handful will give a transformational gift.

You don’t have to chase billionaires around to meet your revenue goals. You don’t have to attend Rotary Club meetings because they have some wealthy members you should meet. Just do the hard work of serving the donors in your portfolio.