You likely know the answer before you call fundraising counsel for advice. “Yes,” get on the plane and complete your major gift solicitation in person.
Fundraising counsel for nonprofits of all sizes share this call in common:
A NY-based client gets on the phone and says, “Well, we have this donor in CA and oh, the travel, I was just out there last month….”
“How much is the gift for?” we inquire.
“$50,000” answers the client, who then adds, “I know. I know.”
It’s a quick call for us. We only utter two words, “How much?”
There is no question that it is challenging to maintain relationships with a national donor base. But if you’ve gone so far as to qualify and cultivate a donor, you don’t want to give up on best practice at the finale.
That means not only asking for the gift in-person, but also securing the gift in person.
Are you flying from the US to Hong Kong for $10,000? Probably not, unless the relationship-building opportunity warrants the visit and/or you can combine the trip with other visits. There are travel judgment calls to be made.
Most of the time, you do know the answer before you call: “Get on the plane!”
That extra plane ride is likely to be rewarding in so many ways.