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Major Donor Cultivation

Webinar – Trends Impacting Major Donor Fundraising

WEBINAR AIRED ON OCTOBER 24, 2019 If you track fundraising data, you may be experiencing some sleepless nights. Second quarter 2019 data, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Fundraising Effectiveness Project, has not given fundraisers anything to cheer about. Overall revenue is down, new donor retention is down, existing donor retention, total number of donors…

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Notre Dame: Lessons in Major Donor Engagement

Like many of you, I was absolutely devastated watching the Notre Dame Cathedral burn on April 15, 2019. Even before the fire was put out, millions of dollars were committed toward restoration from donors around the world. The richest families in France pledged almost $1 billion. Not surprisingly, this money has not rolled in as…

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Always Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

As horses develop and grow more teeth, their existing teeth begin to change shape and project forward. The condition of a horse’s teeth helps discerning owners determine the age and physical condition of the horse. The advice given in the oft-used proverb “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” is simple: refrain from assessing…

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Focus on the Destination

“Mind the gap” echoed through the colorfully tiled RATP Metro as I stepped from the platform to the train on a journey from Paris to Geneva.  My focus briefly diverted from the excitement and joy of the journey to the necessary caution ahead of me.  Each time the train door opened, the same voice reminded me to mind…

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Building a High Performing Development Team

Two Extremes of Major Gift Officers Among the biggest challenges facing a Chief Development Officer is finding, recruiting and managing a high performing development team. Typically, there are two extremes of major gift officers. First, there are those that never ask donors for a gift. They seem to think that simply walking beside the high…

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Engaging Donors After a Mega Gift

Securing a mega gift is an exciting moment for any nonprofit organization. The gift reflects many hours invested by the organization’s leadership and relationship managers to carefully cultivate the relationship by building trust and communicating the case for support. But, your work does not stop when the gift is won. Several years ago, the president…

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Energizing Major Gifts

For the past two years, Donor by Design Group has been working with a cohort of nonprofit leaders from across the country on strategies for improving annual giving. While there are many learnings to be shared, I think the most interesting may be what we’ve learned in developing major gift relationships. The cause of our…

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6 Communication Principles that Build Trust with Major Donors

Every communication with a major donor should intentionally deepen the relationship between the donor and your organization. A successful major gift officer will include each of these six trust-building principles in their daily engagement with donors: The first principle of communication is that all interactions should be one-on-one and personalized, taking the donor’s preferences into…

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Effectively Managing a Major Donor Team, Part 2

Click here for Part 1 of this series, Effectively Managing a Major Donor team. The Three Keys to Successful Major Donor Development For a major donor fundraising team, the basic leading indicators that ultimately produce the desired outcome:  talking to the right people, saying the right thing and doing it in sufficient quantity.  Let’s explore…

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