This post comes from the Gravyty Fundraising Academy, a series that examines how fundraisers adapt and strategize to evolve what's possible through philanthropy.
Your guide for the Gravyty Fundraising Academy is Director of Customer Success, Lisa Alvezi. Lisa has worked with countless fundraisers across Higher Education, Health Care, and Nonprofit organizations to transform fundraising. As a former frontline fundraiser herself, her goal is to help you see better results from your fundraising efforts.
MAJOR GIFT ASKS: DON'T DO IT ALONE.
As fundraisers, we work diligently throughout the year to close meaningful gifts for our organizations, but making that ask can be a delicate process, especially when it comes to major gifts. Have you ever considered that you don't have to be the person to make that ask?
We all know that fundraisers enlist others in the organization to cultivate donors and prospects. However, many savvy and veteran major gift officers take it a step further and let their colleagues make the ask. This approach ensures an emotional connection to the gift and increases the chances that it closes.
So, who can you enlist to help you close a major gift?
If possible, partner with someone who supports your organization financially or by volunteering their time. It's compelling to ask a donor or prospect to "join" them in support of the organization.
Next, consider someone who aligns with the interests of your donor. This person can speak to how your organization will use the gift to support the donor's specific interest. Depending on your mission, you may have a former recipient of a gift explain how a generous donation to your organization transformed her life.
When the ask amount grows more significant, you'll also want to enlist a high-level person with your organization -- perhaps in addition to a person who benefits from the gift. For example, your president, a vice president, dean, department chair, or trustee might be appropriate.
Here's a guide for partners you may want to enlist, depending on your organization's mission:
Consider teachers/professors, researchers, students, parents, coaches, student-life staff, mental health counselors, financial aid officers, alumni, and trustees.
Consider pantry workers, delivery people, volunteers, nutrition educators, and corporate donors.
Consider RN case managers, patient health educators, family lounge receptionists, your M.D.s, and volunteers.
Consider program directors, news directors, your reporters (especially if you can choose a reporter who covers the beat of an interest area for your donor), volunteer managers, and volunteers.
Consider pastors, priests, community leaders, student organization members, missionaries, camp counselors, Bible study organizers, and youth program directors.
Consider artistic directors, music directors, costume directors, education program directors, performers, and prominent season-ticket holders.
If you’d like to learn more about how artificial intelligence can empower your organization to have a culture of philanthropy, personally reach new donors, and inspire giving at scale, click the button below and let's connect.