Fundraise Smarter

How to Be Your Nonprofit's #1 Fundraiser in 2016

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jan 4, 2016 10:00:00 AM

The new year is upon us, and many of us have made a list of resolutions in an attempt to better ourselves in 2016. Some of these resolutions are personal, some are professional.

Unfortunately, most of us are going to fail in our resolution attempts.

An impressive 45% of Americans typically make a New Year’s resolution, but only 8% of us are successful in our attempts.

Ouch.

But you didn't become a fundraiser because it was easy, right? Far from it!

So what if you've resolved to become your nonprofit's #1 fundraiser? What's a specific action you can take that will help you reach that lofty goal?

Here's a big one that is all too often overlooked:

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Topics: major gift fundraising,, Major Gift Officer, prospect research

What To Look For In a Major Gift Officer

Posted by Brooke Binkowski on Oct 12, 2015 10:00:00 AM

The nonprofit sector is all about relationships. We all already know this, right? But nowhere are interpersonal relationships – with you and with people outside your organization – more important than with your 

While every hire that you make is important, this is one that you'll want to pay extra close attention to, because it is a hire that can potentially make or break important relationships with individuals and organizations for years to come. If stewardship is like falling for your donors – and having them fall in love with you back – hiring a major gifts officer is like getting married. You're not just entering a relationship and having a crush any more!major gifts officer.

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Topics: Major Gifts, major gift fundraising,, Major Gift Officer

Millennial Millionaires: What Your Youngest Major Gift Donors Want

Posted by Rory Green on Jul 9, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Editorial note: Today's blog comes from guest blogger Rory Green. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rory!

In 2013 millennial billionaire Mark Zuckerberg gave $1 billion to charity.

One. Billion. Dollars.

ONE! BILLION! DOLLARS!

He’s 31 years old.

Traditionally major gift donors are much older. Their kids are out of university and they have the time and resources to focus on their community.

Yet many millennials are bucking this trend and giving big gifts at young ages.

I have a prediction – more and more millennials are going to be giving major gifts in the years to come. And we need to be ready for it and understand what they want!

So, what do they want? 

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Topics: major gift fundraising,, millennials donors,

Last Chance! Major Gift Webinar

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jun 25, 2015 10:00:00 AM

We're taking a brief break from the blog today to prepare for our webinar today at 1:00!

What's that?

You haven't registered yet?

Get on that! This is your last chance to get in on our major gift webinar! It's all going down at 1:00PM eastern time today.

Click here to register!

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Topics: Major Gifts, webinars,, major gift prospecting,, major gift fundraising,

Download These Insanely Helpful Phone Call Tools for Fundraisers

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jun 22, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Major gift fundraisers spend a lot of time on the phone. Thanking donors, scheduling meetings with donors, cultivating donors, dialing, dialing, dialing…

There’s lots of great advice out there in the fundraising world on making better phone calls. How to listen.What to say.

But often times, you just need a tool. Something simple that makes your life easier on the phone.

Put down the phone for a minute and rejoice, fundraisers! I’ve curated a list of insanely great apps and websites that will make your phone life easier.

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Topics: Fundraising, major gift fundraising,

What The Harvard Mega Donation Teaches Us About Major Gifts

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jun 18, 2015 10:00:00 AM

If you’ve kept an eye on the news lately, you’ve likely heard about the recent mega gift to Harvard University courtesy of John Paulson totaling $400 million.

Four. Hundred. Million. $400,000,000. A four with eight zeros after it.

He must have really small handwriting to be able to fit that on a check…

There’s been no shortage of opinions on the gift. In fact, in my Google Alert file I keep on major gifts, I saw one headline that read “Essay urges people to applaud Harvard's fund-raising success” and right below it another one that read “Essay criticizes the $400 million gift to Harvard.”

Everyone has something to say, and a lot of it is very compelling.

But aside from the Should-He/Shouldn’t-He debate, there are lessons to be learned for fundraisers.

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Topics: Major Gifts, major gift prospecting,, major gift fundraising,

What Scares Fundraisers the MOST About Major Gifts? [New Data]

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jun 15, 2015 10:00:00 AM

It should come as no surprise that fundraisers have excellent people skills.

In fact, the best major gift fundraisers have a unique blend of skills that allow them to converse and carry on with just about anybody. They’re the very definition of a people person and conversationalist.

But major gift fundraising isn’t all schmoozing and conversing, and that’s where many fundraisers feel their weaknesses are.

So what scares fundraisers the most about major gift fundraising?

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Topics: Major Gifts, major gift prospecting,, major gift fundraising,

31 Irresistible Questions To Get Your Major Gift Donor Talking

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jun 11, 2015 10:00:00 AM

What’s one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of closing a major gift?

Shut your mouth and open your ears.

Fundraising and sales experts alike will tell you that we need to do far more listening and far less talking when working with prospects. Most of the time, if you get them talking, they’ll tell you exactly what their needs are and how you can fill them.

To get that conversation rolling, you need to fuel it up with some good questions.

But thinking up a handful of questions is the easy part. Where the real artists of conversation excel is in their ability to follow-up and build upon questions to really dig deep into a topic with someone and get them talking.

That takes a whole lot more planning.

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Topics: Donor Nurturing,, major gift fundraising,

How I Was Sold By a Fundraiser In a Single Phone Call

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jun 8, 2015 10:00:00 AM

I am a tough sell. A salesperson’s worst nightmare.

When I bought my last car, I put this poor salesman through the wringer. I knew exactly what I wanted, at an extraordinarily (bordering on unrealistic) good price point, and I had done my research. I knew more about this car than the engineer that designed it did, and certainly a hell of a lot more than the sales guy.

No amount of smooth-talking or rapport-building was going to make me budge.

The negotiations over price went on for weeks. But I got the deal I wanted.

So I mean it when I say it: I’m a tough sell.

That’s why even I was shocked when a pair of fundraisers managed to sell me in a single phone call.

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Topics: corporate giving, major gift fundraising,

Free Webinar: How to Close a Major Gift (Even If You've Never Done It Before)

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jun 3, 2015 9:45:00 AM

Our last webinar was a big hit. We had a super engaged audience that was double the size we had originally hoped for.

So how do we follow that up?

We do it again, of course!

We're pumped to announce our second webinar, "How to Close a Major Gift (Even If You've Never Done It 

Before)!"

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Topics: Major Gifts, webinars,, major gift prospecting,, major gift fundraising,

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