When we hire a fundraiser we are responsible for choosing the person who will succeed for us. We can’t afford to benchmark against the candidates who turn up for interview, we must know the benchmarks already so that we know what success looks like before it walks through the door and introduces itself.
Big Gift, Major Gift, Major Donor – call it what you will – Fundraising isn’t defined by a set gift amount. It is defined by its approach – taking the time to develop a relationship with a person over time in order to ask for a commitment.
The seven steps of major donor solicitation continue to be a mystery to some. Will a parallel with dating help to make it clearer, or is dating just as complex?
Even a tiny charity can build a major donor programme. Because a major donor programme can start with a single donor, it doesn’t have to start with a big database, a big spreadsheet and an investment in staff and resources that won’t pay off for two years or more.
The secret is knowing your capacity to delight and then delighting that donor or those few donors you can manage well.
A Development Board is not an undertaking for the feint-hearted, they are full-on vehicles to deliver significant investment. As we all know, there is no such thing as a free lunch; this significant investment in your organisation will need a significant investment from you in time (and money).
There are three key areas to consider when reviewing a Development Board – to set one up or to continue with one: