Fundraise Smarter

What To Look For In a Major Gift Officer

Posted by Brooke Binkowski on Oct 12, 2015 4:57:00 PM

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!

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

What The Harvard Mega Donation Teaches Us About Major Gifts

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jun 18, 2015 12:22:00 PM

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 fundraising, major gift prospecting

31 Irresistible Questions To Get Your Major Gift Donor Talking

Posted by Su Sanni on Jun 11, 2015 3:29:00 PM

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

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