Major gifts fundraising for small nonprofits – Part 2

How do you determine the size of a major gift for your nonprofit? 

  1. Pull a report of your top donors. This report should show all donors who gave to your organization in the past three years
  2. Sort the list with the largest gifts at the top.
  3. Remove the outliers. Outliers are gifts that are significantly larger or smaller than the other gifts. For example, you can remove a large, one-time gift that was made by a donor who is not likely to give again. You might also remove any gifts that are below your typical average gift level.
  4. From the remaining set, select the top 10 donors. This will give you a good representation of your most generous donors.
  5. Add the total donations from these 10 donors and divide by 10. This will give you the average gift size for your top 10 donors.
  6. Round up the total to a level that your organization is comfortable claiming as a major gift. This amount will vary depending on the size of your organization and its fundraising goals.

Here are some additional factors to consider when determining the size of a major gift for your nonprofit:

  • The size of your organization’s budget A larger organization will likely need to raise more money from major gifts than a smaller organization.
  • The level of support that you receive from your individual donors. If you have a large number of donors who give small gifts, you may not need as many major gifts to reach your fundraising goals.
  • The type of work that your organization does. Some types of work, such as medical research or disaster relief, are more expensive than others. This will affect the size of the major gifts that you need to raise.

Ultimately, the best way to determine the size of a major gift for your nonprofit is to consider all of these factors and make a decision that is right for your organization.

Note: If you receive several gifts from one donor, use their cumulative annual giving.

Within the range of the gift size that you received, you can have three different levels of major gifts. The top range is your stretch gift or aspirational gift, and these help develop your major giving program in the long run.

This exercise needs to be repeated every year to ensure that you avoid under-asking and leaving money on the table. 

How to make the ask?

Once you have cultivated a relationship with a potential major donor, it is time to make the ask. This can be a daunting task, but it is important to remember that you are asking for their support because you believe in the work of your nonprofit and you know that their gift can make a difference.

When making the ask, it is important to be clear about what you are asking for and why. You should also be respectful of the donor’s time and be prepared to answer any questions they have.

Here are some tips for making the ask:

  • Be prepared. Know what you are asking for, why you are asking for it, and how the donor’s gift will be used.
  • Be respectful. Remember that the donor is giving their own money to support your cause. Be grateful for their time and consideration.
  • Be clear and concise. State your request clearly and concisely, and explain how the donor’s gift will make a difference.
  • Be enthusiastic. Show the donor that you are passionate about your work and that their gift will make a real difference.

How to build a successful major gift fundraising program

Building a successful major gift fundraising program takes time and effort, but it is worth it. A well-run major gift program can provide a significant source of funding for your nonprofit and help you achieve your mission.

Here are some tips for building a successful major gift fundraising program:

  • Hire or train dedicated staff. Major gift fundraising is a specialized field, so it is important to have staff who are knowledgeable and experienced.
  • Invest in constituent relationship management (CRM) software. CRM software can help you track and manage your relationships with major donors.
  • Set realistic goals. Don’t expect to raise millions of rupees overnight. Set realistic goals for your major gift fundraising program and work towards them over time.
  • Be patient and persistent. Major gift fundraising takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Just keep building relationships with potential major donors and sharing the work of your nonprofit.
Request newsletter

    Request A Callback