I was asked how I built my fundraising consultancy, and was reminded about why I started MajorDonors.com. Check out the podcast episode below.
It’s been almost eight years, and the reasons I started a fundraising consultancy that focuses on major gift work at smaller nonprofits hold true today:
Most smaller nonprofits are not out there visiting with their donors—until it’s time for a campaign
- They are missing out on the annual revenue stream that major gifts create.
- When the time comes for an endowment or capital campaign, they are starting at square one.
- It’s easy for staff of the small development shop to become overwhelmed with appeals, events and grants.
Visiting with donors falls to the bottom of the list.
This is unfortunate, in that major gift fundraising is likely the most cost-effective option. Events, in particular, often produce a modest “return on investment” when staff and volunteer time are taken into account. (“Friendraiser” becomes a justification).
Neither the board nor the Executive Director push for a major gift program, partly through lack of knowledge, and partly because they know it will require them to take an active role!
Fundraising is misunderstood.
Telemarketing and arm-twist tactics have taken their toll. Most people believe fundraising is about extracting a gift—like you would a bad tooth.
Most nonprofit board members—and plenty of staff—have not been trained to visit with donors one-on-one… and have what are almost invariably delightful conversations.