What You Can Expect from a Full Scale Major Gift Program

What would happen if your team could expand into a full scale major gift program? Let’s look at the results you’d achieve for your institution:

Most of all – you guessed it – new funding would start flowing in. Here’s what you can hope to achieve:

1. With a full scale major gifts program, you would develop ready access to a group of very special major donors.

To develop a major gift program, you always start with a pool of identified prospects. As your team refines this list by making discovery and qualification calls, you will find donors with high capacity who love your mission.

Following this process, you’ll be able to develop close-knit trusting relationships with major funders. These donors will be people who believe deeply in you and your work. They will like and respect you, because they know your team and leadership personally.  

They’ll be ready to give when you need them. You’d know their capacity – that they’d actually be able to make generous investments to support new initiatives, special projects, expansions and even general operating costs.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had tight relationships with these special high net worth donors who are deeply aligned with your mission? They’d be available to help when you turn to them. Ready with great advice. Always willing to take your call. Always there when a big opportunity comes up.

2. With a full scale major gifts program, you could expect ample funding from these donors.

Yes, raising money is the ultimate objective of major gift programs. But you first must start with building strong and fruitful major donor relationships.

You nail the donor relationship first. Then the money comes. First one, then the other.

One of the greatest mistakes ever is to launch your major gift program for the money only. In this case, you may be somewhat successful, but you won’t build close and productive long term relationships with these funders. What’s more, you won’t reach the potential that’s out there for you and your team.

Build the donor relationship first using the four building blocks of the major donor relationship.  When you focus on these building blocks – understanding, trust and confidence, values, and commitment – you will demonstrate to your donor all the possibilities their gift can achieve.

This is the art of major gift fundraising and how you achieve the potential that is waiting for you.  

A short-sighted focus on more money sooner than later will hurt future giving from your largest potential donors. If you take a transactional approach rather than a relationship approach, you will shoot this effort in the foot.  

That’s why we developed the Major Gifts Intensive educational and coaching program – to help organizations build the skills, tools and structure to expand their major gifts. We teach the nuances of a relationship-based approach to HNW donors. Registrations are open for our 2022 cohort, and we are already filling up. You can find out more here.

3. With a major gifts program, your leaders could expect to expand your mission to serve more people.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had the funding to bring more benefits to the world! To stop suffering, create art, educate people, save land – whatever your mission is.

You’ll have the money to pay your staff adequately, invest in infrastructure, expand programming and outreach. You’d be able to expand your mission’s work, in a world that badly needs your mission.

4. Your organization could expect to enjoy expanded PR, more community visibility, and greater outreach when you gain more funding through major gifts.

What happens when you announce a major gift to the rest of your stakeholders?

People start thinking of your organization as worthy of major gifts. You rise to a new level of prominence in your community. Your work gains attention. With this attention, more gifts – of all types – will flow in.

5. You and your team would raise money more efficiently and save time.

By far, major gift fundraising is the most efficient and effective way to raise money. By focusing on major gifts, you can forgo other types of fundraising strategies that are far more labor-intensive (a gala, anyone?).

Major gifts fundraising is a targeted approach, focusing on a fewer number of people and funders. One smart, well-trained fundraiser can bring in gifts far exceeding what you’d raise from an event.

Your team will be able to raise the funding for your mission, without exhausting the board and all your volunteers. Without exhausting themselves.

One major gift can be a million dollars. It’s the most efficient and effective way to raise money, hands down.

Bottom line on a Full Scale Major Gifts Program: It IS possible for your organization to achieve all of these benefits.

But you’ll need to invest the time, energy and resources to make it happen.

And above all, you’ll need to treat each donor as “a whole person,” not just a money machine. When you build relationships centered on trust, respect, and concern for the goodwill of your mission, anything is possible.

Major Gifts Intensive 2022

Don’t forget, we can help you expand and build a profitable, sustainable major gift program, right now, in 2022. We’ve just opened registration for our Major Gifts Intensive 2022, and frankly we are surprised that it is filling up so quickly this year.

Join us if you want to develop the systems, mindset, vision, structure and processes for a long-term productive major gift program that will deliver measurable results for years. Find out more here.