The "Ask"SM Blog - Major Donors

June 2, 2016
by Diane Remin
Only negotiate if you hear a flat-out: "there is no way in the world I/we can do that” or “I/we can’t possibly afford that much.”  You are listening for an absolute “no” that will be expressed through words, voice tone and body language.
March 25, 2015
by Diane Remin
You're planning a capital campaign.  Then it's time for a feasibility study -- or is it?
January 4, 2013
by Diane Remin
The charitable deduction headlines are confusing.  The final outcome is unclear.  What better time to communicate with your donors? Warning:  Charitable deduction facts in this blog post may time-limited.  The donor communication concepts are not. Donor communication stances 1.  Non-expert "head's up"
November 7, 2011
by Diane Remin
How can smaller nonprofitsengage potential major donors? My mantra is, "pick up the phone." Who do you call? Anyone making an annual fund gift of $1,000 or more.  Don't have anyone like that?  Then drop down to $500 or even $250.
November 2, 2011
by Diane Remin
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?”
August 12, 2010
by Diane Remin
Through the Giving Pledge, initiated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, 40 billionaires pledged to donate 50% of their wealth to charity.  Will 50% become a new standard? I don’t believe we’ve ever had a peer-driven giving standard for the wealthy. From the religious community we have 10% tithing.  But tithing was not designed for the wealthy—quite the contrary. Many people of very modest means generously tithe.   From the financial advisory community comes the 1-3% of asset rule.
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 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"?
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