Are you and your team ready for a prosperous and productive 2022? Are you laying the groundwork for more generous major, principal and capital campaign gifts to flow into your organization?

We think 2022 will be a good, solid year for major gifts. With the soaring stock market, many major donors are doing fine and feeling wealthy.

This year, there will be plenty of opportunity for smart major gift fundraisers. Don’t miss this rare moment – because your institution should be ready to capitalize on the good economic times too.

But let’s back up a minute.

Are there roadblocks keeping you and your team away from closing more major and principal gifts?

If so, I hope you’ll consider joining our Major Gifts Intensive for 2022. You and your team will gain the structure and the skills to dramatically expand a robust major gifts program for your organization.

Here are the top three most critical elements for any successful major gift program. 

You need these elements working together in order to be successful raising major gifts in 2022:

1. Closing major gifts takes know-how and training.

Many fundraisers tell us they are unsure exactly how to approach donors. They share that they feel awkward having conversations with prospects. Some feel lost when they try to identify the right prospects to focus on. Many feel alone and overwhelmed.

Many nonprofit leaders have no idea how to correctly discover and qualify a door. Most importantly, they don’t know how approach a donor for a gift.

The Zoom environment is even more bewildering for many fundraisers. Mastering the zoom conversation and presentation is yet another challenge that people are reporting.

Finally, people are drowning in data. They don’t know how to use data to work smarter, not harder. They lack the know-how to put the data to work to save time and focus on the right prospects.

All these skills can be learned! There’s no need to guess what to do and say.

It is possible to get training to master all these skills. Our Major Gifts Intensive members will become proficient in all these areas –

They will learn:

  • Advanced Discovery Skills to find the right donors who are most interested in helping with a gift.
  • How to listen for a donor’s passions and personal values.  
  • How to take the next steps to move a donor closer to a gift.
  • And how to move a donor into an Ask Conversation.

We believe strongly that working smarter, not harder, is what helps busy fundraisers achieve raising more money. It really is possible to learn how to qualify donors quickly so that you are not spinning your wheels with people who will never make a gift. 

2. Successful major gift fundraising takes a team.

It really takes a team to be successful. If you are in a larger institution with many fundraisers, you are probably finding that the camaraderie and support from team members gives you an intangible boost.

If you are in a smaller organization, you do need to pull colleagues together to work with you. Sometimes there’s a board member who understands major gift strategy, who can be helpful.

Here’s the thing: you can be more creative when you can brainstorm about strategies with someone else. It’s easier to come up with the correct next step with a prospect, when you can bounce ideas off colleagues.

No organization will ever be successful in major gift fundraising with siloed major gift officers. They should never be alone in this effort.

Don’t try to go it alone. Silos in major gifts never work well. You need a few trusted insiders helping in the major gift effort.

They don’t have to be out there soliciting, but they DO have to help identify prospects and help you think through strategies.

We like for teams to register for the Major Gifts Intensive together. That way, everyone in the team speaks a common language, learns the same concepts and strategies.

We also offer an optional training for board members. They can help too. Key volunteers don’t have to be out there soliciting, but they can help open doors to prospects and help you think through strategies.

3. Successful major gift fundraising takes a solid system.

Raising money from major donors is not really rocket science, but it does take a very careful organized structure. Without a structure, you will never be successful. You must have a prospect management system, based in data, that helps you evaluate your donors and plan your next moves on the right people.

A great prospect management program helps you literally quantify your pipeline. You also literally manage your work flow, so that your people are focusing on the right prospects, not the wrong ones.

When you have the the infrastructure, systems and thinking inside YOUR organization for major gift success, it often will take hold permanently. This is how your organization can enjoy major gift success not just this year, but many years to come.

Every single organization can raise much more IF you tackle major gift fundraising seriously.

We are here to help and support you. If you would like to learn our Fundraising by the Numbers system, check out the 2022 Major Gifts Intensive here, and let us know if you are interested.

Three critical elements for major gift success.

Teach your team the advanced, 21st century skills for interacting with today’s donors. Be sure you build a solid team for support, and build a structured system to manage it all.

Let’s make 2022 awesome, and close many major gifts for you and your cause!

Does it ever feel like some fundraisers have superpowers? You know, those ones who raise six, seven and even eight-figure gifts.

And you look at them and wonder, “what special qualities DO these talented major gift fundraisers have?”

“How are they so successful?”

“What is their secret?”

Well, today we will tell you a few of these “secret” traits. And, luckily, they are traits that you, too, can possess. If you want to learn how to build these traits, join us in our 2022 Major Gifts Intensive coaching course. You’ll come out of it a superhero – raising mega gifts in no time.

The Top Superpowers of Successful Major Gift Fundraisers:

Superpower #1: Successful Major Gift Fundraisers are Focused and Disciplined.

We have many distractions in our work. It’s very, very easy to to get sidetracked.

Master fundraisers need to always focus, focus, focus on their intention: which is to move toward a gift conversation.

It’s easy to get lost in all the socializing that comes with major gift fundraising – but that doesn’t bring in the gifts.

Social skills help you get your foot in the door, but as a successful fundraiser you always keep your eye on your goal. 

Donor conversations can wander all over the place. It’s important to bring the conversation back to your fundraising in indirect ways. Talk about your organization and its initiatives and goals.

Smart major gift fundraisers facilitate their donors down the path to a gift. They are always gently leading in a certain direction.

This way you won’t get lost forever in social talk. You’ll be able to move the donor toward a gift conversation.

In our Major Gifts Intensive course we provide you with strategies to master this discipline and make sure we use role plays to practice so you don’t walk away unprepared. Join us!

Superpower #2: Successful Major Gift Fundraisers Actively Listen to Find Out Their  Donor’s Interests.

Too many fundraisers worry about what to say.

They worry that the donor will ask a question they can’t answer. They fret that they’ll run out of conversation topics.

Our advice is: turn around and head the other way. Stop talking!

Your job when visiting with donors is to do reconnaissance. You want to find out what your donor is most interested in. Most of all, how passionate are they about your cause? How motivated are they to give?

If you’re doing all the talking, then you’ll never find this out. It’s actually up to you to find out what makes your donor tick.

And once you know your donor’s interests, passions and hot buttons, you’re on your way to making your donor really happy – AND closing a major gift.

Conversation techniques are a critical skill for any major gift fundraiser. If you’d like to master these techniques – join our 2022 Major Gifts Intensive. We’ve just opened applications for our class. 

Superpower #3: Successful Major Gift Fundraisers are Confident.

Sometimes it may be easy to feel a bit like a supplicant when you are with a VIP donor. They may even intimidate you.

But confidence is a major superpower.

You have an important job to do, and the donor knows it. That’s why she’s talking to you.

So be open and direct. We never want to assume that we know what a donor is thinking. So you be bold and ask, “May I clarify what you just said?”

When you convey confidence in yourself and your work, then you show up as genuine and authentic.

Confident people have good manners, and they are gracious to everyone. They know their stuff. What’s more, they are calm and unruffled.

All of these qualities put your donor at ease. Then you build trust. Most importantly, you are creating an authentic human relationship with your donor.

Bottom Line: Having Superpowers Isn’t Out of Reach.

These superpowers are easier said than done, we know. We have been there. But we developed these traits and it has paid off in spades.

And we have helped hundreds of other major gift officers develop and hone these superpowers as well, through our Major Gifts Intensive coaching course.

If you’d like to be a superhero fundraiser, be sure to consider joining! You can learn more about it here. Applications are open now and close February 24.

If you want to build and expand your major and principal gifts programs this year, we just opened applications last week for our 2022 Major Gifts Intensive Coaching Course. Learn more here.

Wishing you a prosperous and positive 2022!