(Major Gifts #5) Major Gift Fundraising by the Numbers

We hope, on this Valentine’s Day 2022, that you are sending your major donors and prospects lots of love!

When you send personal attention to your key supporters, you’re taking a strategic step toward building their loyalty and encouraging future gifts.

Even more, sending love and attention deepens your donors’ sense of connection and commitment. And it helps engender those hoped-for mega gifts that will show up sometime in the future.

A Pipeline of Major Donor Prospects

We all want to know the key question about the “donor pipeline”- how much money you can raise and when it will come in?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to really know – and feel good in your gut about – how much future revenue you can count on from your donors?

This is the golden truth of fundraising – the ability to predict future cash flow from gifts.

Adding Predictability to Your Major Gift Fundraising

Let’s go back to what we all love – cash flow. Exactly how do we predict it?

How do you determine the value of future major gifts that might be out there in your portfolio or among your key supporters?

Our answer: If you have the data about your prospects, and organize it correctly, then you should be able to literally predict your fundraising results.

It’s because, in a good pipeline analysis, you want to quantify everything – including the probability of a gift coming in at a certain time.

The numbers tell you a story.

In a prospect pipeline, right donors go on your list, not the wrong ones. You’re using your data to separate your high opportunity donors from the other individuals who may need to go on a “backburner.”

What data allows you to evaluate your prospects? You want to evaluate your prospects based on real information: their behavior and the actual status of your relationship.

Develop a Sustainable Pipeline of Qualified Donors

We see far too many organizations make serious mistakes in their prospect management systems:

Mistake #1: Putting “suspects” in your pipeline.

If a donor is still a “suspect” and not a qualified prospect yet, that donor has no business being listed in an estimation of future revenue. If you do this, you are playing a guessing game that will take you off track quickly.

The only donors in your true pipeline should be people who are qualified: that is, they have indicated strong interest, as well as wealth capacity.

Mistake #2: Overvaluing wealth capacity.

Many people overemphasize wealth. Too many portfolios are loaded up with high net worth “prospects” who have no track record of involvement.

These wealthy individuals are not qualified! They may as well be bubbles in the air. Because if they have no interest, they will never give. And you are wasting your time.

You may be making these mistakes too. It’s easy to get distracted by high net worth, isn’t it? But chasing these wealthy unresponsive donors will cause you to beat your head against the wall.

Bottom Line: Move forward now to quantify and properly organize your prospect portfolio. Put your suspects on the backburner. Don’t overvalue wealth capacity.

In our Major Gifts Intensive 2022, we’ll teach you how to create the right kind of prospect management system.

This system can help you predict future fundraising streams, identify which donors need attention, and manage your overall portfolio for maximum giving and productivity.

It can help you shorten the time it takes to close a gift. Literally.