It is often self-imposed barriers that are really preventing Major Donor Fundraising programmes from flourishing.

Major donor fundraising is the last bastion of the “dark art” of fundraising: it is mysterious, undertaken beyond the public gaze, quietly and without pomp. There are fewer rules surrounding this area of fundraising and far less scrutiny from regulators and rule-makers. There is no handbook but there are definitely “right ways” and “wrong ways” to do it.

This lack of clarity can create a fear of the unknown. That fear can perpetuate myths inside an organisation that say that major donor fundraising is not right for you. These myths include:

  • We do not have any potential major donors
  • We have nothing suitable to ask a major donor
  • Our leadership will never buy into this investment of time or money
  • This is not a good use of our limited fundraising resources
  • We do not know how to do it
  • It is unsavoury to ask a person for money face-to-face
  • None of our donors would ever want to be asked for a large gift

The truth is that any charity with donors should have major donor programmes. It need not be a large programme – a single major donor can have a huge impact on a charity. Not only will a major donor give substantial financial gifts but the nature of the investment relationship means that they will often bring more: expertise, advice, contacts, connections, more donors.

In reality, major donor fundraising is not as difficult as it seems. WATCH Mike Bartlett, Senior Consultant for High Value Giving at Money Tree Fundraising give his insights on the barriers non-profits have in adopting a Major Donor Programme:


We believe that every organisation has the potential to take advantage of high-value fundraising and we are on a mission to bring the highest quality and most cost effective high value fundraising advice and delivery to charities of all sizes because we want to see more donors fuelling more vital world-changing activity.

It is time to finish with the “dark art” mystique once and for all. We know how to deliver major donor programmes well and we will support you in the best way for you by tailoring our support to meet your needs and budgets.

We would love to hear what your experience has been of developing major donor programmes over a coffee so please call us to set that up on 020 3126 4501.

For more information or to fill out our “Readiness Questionnaire” see our Major Donor Fundraising page.

Give your major donor programme a health check now