Major Gift Solicitation – Proper Preparation Leads to Gratification

All fundraising professionals, whether internal development officers or outside fundraising counsel, are concerned about getting the biggest gifts for our client organizations. We want a major gift from every potential donor. We want to hit a home run every time we come up to bat! The only way to accomplish this is by working daily…

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Hands on Means Hands Down (Victory, That Is!)

It has become increasingly clear to me with each capital campaign I am involved with, that the single most important determining factor in the magnitude of success is the level and intensity of involvement by principals of the organization—both professional staff and volunteers. That is, I find a direct correlation between the level of success…

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Making a Good Solicitation Better

I have worked with thousands and maybe even tens of thousands of volunteers, teaching them and trying to put them ‘at ease’ with asking someone for money to help their cause.  There is, as it says in Ecclesiastes, nothing new under the sun.  Yet, the things that work more effectively are seldom intuitive or natural,…

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Major Giving for Arts & Culture

Cultural enrichment is important for every community. Larger cities have many nonprofits that serve to grow the interest in arts and culture: art museums, botanical gardens, community parks, chorales, symphonies, operas, historical museums, zoos and other cultural enrichment organizations. The question then becomes, what financial support do these organizations have, since many could be competing…

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Surefire Ways to Identify Your Major Gift Prospects, Part 1

Going from an innocuous list of people in your database to a select list of top prospects is not difficult, but it does require discipline in an orderly process to distinguish who can be a leader, who has the interest in your cause and who has the wealth to make a difference. In the fundraising…

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4 Guiding Principles for Cause-Related Marketing and Commercial Co-Ventures

Partnering with commercial businesses can be a great way for nonprofit organizations to fundraise. Over the past decade, cause-marketing relationships between nonprofit and commercial businesses have grown exponentially in popularity.  Campaigns like Yoplait Save Lids to Save Lives, Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, American Express’ The Members Project, Nike’s Livestrong Bracelets, and The Gap’s Product…

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Why People Say No

If a non-profit organization hopes to execute a successful fundraising effort, they must first identify some of the missteps that can lead prospective donors to say “no.”

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