If your organization is like most nonprofits, you have more paid staff that focus on grant writing and event planning than you do on raising major gifts.
It’s time to turn that around.
The #MajorGiftMovement marks a shift in fundraising where organizations reprioritize their resources and focus on raising major gifts — the future of nonprofit development.
Worthy movements start small and then grow big.
Today, the word “trending” identifies movements. What’s trending in fundraising is major gifts.
Why Embrace the #MajorGiftMovement?
According to Giving USA:
- 80% of donations come from individuals.
- Only 20% of donations come from corporations and foundations.
Yet, most organizations get the majority of their income from corporations and foundations. That means you could be missing a BIG opportunity.
To join the movement means committing staff time and effort on raising major gifts, instead of writing grants and planning events. Unfortunately, most nonprofits have been built by writing grants and planning events and now are stuck in a viscous cycle of deadlines and urgency.
Change is possible — but it’s not for everyone.
You must determine if you have at least a few, regular big donors at the $5,000 level or above. If not, this might be too big of a risk for your organization.
Major gift fundraising is a long-term endeavor. It might take you a year or two to make up the income you were raising with grants and events. You and your board members need to have the fortitude to see it through.
Raising major gifts is the most cost-effective way to raise money.
The good news is that raising major gifts costs less than any other type of fundraising. It’s only costs about 10 cents to raise a dollar.
Other types of fundraising cost more — a lot more.Major gift fundraising costs LESS than any other type of fundraising. #MajorGiftMovement Click To Tweet
Grant writing and event planning cost anywhere from 20 to 50 cents to raise a dollar. That’s up to five times more than raising major gifts.
But it won’t happen overnight. You need to be committed for the long haul.
What it Takes to Join the #MajorGiftMovement
There are several things to consider if you plan to join the Major Gift Movement. To make this work, you need an action plan.
Ask board members to step up during this time of transition. Their support and a solid base of loyal donors is the foundation to making this change.The #MajorGiftMovement requires committed board members and loyal donors. Let's make it happen! Click To Tweet
Here’s some “to dos” to get you started.
1. Get your board on board.
If you are going to drastically cut back on grant writing and event planning, your fundraising revenue could take a tumble this year (of course with the help of a few major donors, it could drastically increase too).
Work with your board so they understand the need to step in and help — both by increasing their own gifts, as well as helping with fundraising. Determine if they have the fortitude to stand with you through a possible dip without freaking out and calling for your head!
2. Be 100% committed.
If you making this change, you need to be there for your organization… for the long haul. You must commit to staying at your job for at least another three years.
Remember, raising major gifts is a long term proposition. Building relationships and trust takes time. Plan on some late nights and weekends. You will step outside your comfort zone and ask people for the largest gifts you’ve ever sought. You must be 100% committed.
3. Create a plan.
Show your board and executive director how serious you are by developing a concrete plan for raising major gifts.
- Demonstrate how you will replace grants and event income.
- Calculate how many gifts it will take and at what levels.
- Identify top prospects. Understand infrastructure, systems, or supports you will need to ensure success.
More to come…
You won’t want to miss next week’s post. We’ll look at how the #MajorGiftMovement has the potential to revolutionize your organization. Make sure to join my list if you haven’t already. Don’t let your organization get left behind!
The #MajorGiftMovement is trending for good reason.
If you commit to the #MajorGiftMovement, then I’m committed to you. I promise to be with you every step of the way. I’m going to dedicate this year of blogging to the #MajorGiftMovement.
Getting Started with the #MajorGiftMovement
Start by committing to join the movement publicly. Go on record with a tweet:I'm joining the #MajorGiftMovement to revolutionize our nonprofit and transform our fundraising! Click To Tweet
Take the Major Gifts Challenge.
Consider formal training.
Even better, check out Mastering Major Gifts and see how this step-by-step training course gets you up AND keeps you running.
Join the #MajorGiftMovement Today
This is the beginning of a long-overdue (and necessary) change in the nonprofit sector.
Like any successful movement, it takes people — LOTS of people (like you!) to make it have a real and lasting effect. Join the #MajorGiftMovement today. Together we can transform how we raise money and make an even bigger impact for every single one of our causes.I'm joining the #MajorGiftMovement to revolutionize our nonprofit and transform our fundraising! Click To Tweet
Let’s make it happen!
Will you join the #MajorGiftMovement and help to reshape how we all raise money? Share your comments below.