All About The "Ask"SM Blog

July 22, 2010
by Diane Remin
High quality prospect research—learning everything you can about your major gift prospects—pays for itself many times over. It is a key best practice used by successful major gift programs. 
July 6, 2010
by Diane Remin
The “printing beast” is a well-oiled machine. But when it comes to major gifts, paper does not produce the gift. You do.
June 22, 2010
by Diane Remin
GIVING USA 2010 estimates $227.41B of individual gifts in 2009.  As always, individual giving dominates total charitable contributions, accounting for 75% of the total.  Surprisingly, individual giving remained relatively stable between 2008 and 2009, falling a scant 0.4%.  Total giving fell by an estimated 3.6%, with bequests (-23.9%) and foundation grantmaking (-8.9%) experiencing the largest drops.
June 8, 2010
by Diane Remin
As a smaller nonprofit, you have limited resources. Multi-year gifts leverage your staff's time.  Research on your donor base will determine the multi-year giving numbers that are right for your organization.  For this example, let’s assume you have donors with the ability to give either $5,000 or $10,000 per year for five years.
May 25, 2010
by Diane Remin
Seven is the magic "thank you" number for major gifts. What is it about seven? The seven colors of the rainbow? My guess is the tradition of thanking donors seven times was someone's measurable translation of "a lot." It drives us beyond the usual two or three. It works. What might seven major donor thank yous look like? 1) Acknowledgement of receipt of check: Call within 48 hours 2) Legal thank you: The one you are required to do. The letter that acknowledges the gift in writing for tax purposes. Don't stop here!
May 11, 2010
by Diane Remin
If you are serious about your major gift program, invest in a prospect research subscription service or contract a prospect research consultant.
May 4, 2010
by Diane Remin
You are dedicated to the cause. Your nonprofit is wonderful. You hate asking for money.  Why is that?  Why do so many passionate and otherwise engaged board members and, secret be told, staff members, too, run in the opposite direction when it comes to major gift "asks"?
April 27, 2010
by Diane Remin
You can talk your way right out of a major gift. Let's set the stage: So, here you are, with your colleague, seated in the prospect’s living room, sipping the coffee you were offered.  You’ve spent the first 30 to 45 minutes of the meeting re-connecting, telling your story based on the prospect's interests, listening and responding. 
April 20, 2010
by Diane Remin
Let’s start with the basics: What is a major gifts program?  At the end of the day, it’s simply in-person meetings with carefully chosen prospects with the ultimate goal of securing sizably larger gifts. No donors?  Stop right here.  Your major gift prospects are:
April 13, 2010
by Diane Remin
 Major gifts are all about building personal relationships with prospective major donors. So...  If your inclination is to write a letter -> Pick up the phone.  If your inclination is to print a brochure -> Pick up the phone.  If your inclination is to send an email -> Pick up the phone.  If your inclination is to produce a newsletter -> Pick up the phone.  If your inclination is to slice your donor database every which way -> Pick up the phone.

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