The "Ask"SM Blog - Major Gifts

June 16, 2016
by Diane Remin
Major gift fundraising is about relationships, conversations and opportunities.   Here are five reasons to enjoy it: 1)      Stimulating conversations with people who share your interest/passion. 2)      Knowledge that the conversation itself brings the donor closer to the organization and has a positive ripple effect—independent of the financial outcome (but you do have to ask).
June 1, 2016
by Diane Remin
When you are visiting with donors, the conversation is the point.  Put away that Case for Support and pull out a donor engagement tool. What is a donor engagement tool?  It’s a large (minimum recommended size is 11x17) sheet of paper divided into 3 sections:
June 1, 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.
April 30, 2015
by Diane Remin
You've just presented a donor with a big opportunity—whatever that means for your organization. "Let me think about it" is a perfectly natural response. Without knowing more, do not jump into negotiations (you will be negotiating against yourself) or rush to end the visit.
March 19, 2015
by Diane Remin
Donors don't care what you need. They care about their impact. I had just finished presenting a workshop titled, "Opportunity Knocks: Major Gift Fundraising for Smaller Nonprofits." It covered the topics you'd expect: how to use donor research, setting up the visit, the case for support, making the "ask" and responding to, "Let me think about it." But I always add a segment about emotion driving individual giving, the power of storytelling to convey emotion and what donors want: to know they are having an impact.
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?”
December 21, 2010
by Diane Remin
When the donor offers you refreshments, say "yes."  The first few minutes of a major gift cultivation or solicitation visit set the psychological stage. With the offer of refreshments, the prospect is taking a step toward you.  Accept. Your acceptance is building the social bond. You are also modeling “yes” mode.
December 7, 2010
by Diane Remin
The prospect’s environment often reflects areas of deep passion. Build rapport quickly by paying an authentic compliment.
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