Tracking a Major Gift Donor Profile

When you manage dozens of major donor relationships, you must have a system for tracking key information.  You may capture this in your data base, or in a simple Word document, or even on a note card… the key is: CAPTURE IT.  Here are some key categories to track.  What would you add?

  • Contact Information: Address, Email, Phone with Preferences for communications
  • History with Organization including key Relationships
  • Family Information: Spouse, children with birthdates
  • Personal Interests
  • History of Interactions: Meetings, mailings, events, etc.
  • Giving History
  • Key Networks – Personal, Business, Boards
  • My Next Steps – action items with timelines

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About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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2 Responses to Tracking a Major Gift Donor Profile

  1. In another forum, I had this comment from Chris… • Gary, I appreciated your last post about people supporting people and not organizations. This post seems to lean more toward a secular view of development vs. a biblical one, but I’ll let you clarify that. What does the term “major donor” actually mean? I imagine it’s based on a giving capacity, which is how most organizations view it. If we are centered on relationship vs. someone’s giving capacity, then we should track EVERYONE and know as much as we can about those we have personal relationships with. In my opinion, a “major donor” is someone that is most connected with me and our vision. But, to separate people based on giving capacity, and then organize special “actions” or “moves” for them can be manipulative. I recommend meeting everyone where they are at, then focusing on growing the heart of the giver, who will in turn respond to God generously. The amount is in God’s hands.

    My reply:

    Chris, thanks for pushing back. There is always the tension within ministry to avoid favoritism [James warning], while exercising good stewardship of resources – such as time and personnel. Jesus seemed to prioritize 12, and even 3, for special time and investment during His earthly ministry. Committing to the most strategic and called partners. We must do the same, while avoiding making value judgements at the same time. It is a tension, and we must walk in the Spirit in order to keep our motives in check. The idea of tracking everyone in profiles is a bit unrealistic. I served a ministry that had 200k on it’s mailing list. Clearly, there was no resources to track detailed profiles on all. So, higher capacity givers and those most committed to engagement were tracked by major gift representatives.personnel. Jesus seemed to prioritize 12, and even 3, for special time and investment during His earthly ministry. Committing to the most strategic and called partners. We must do the same, while avoiding making value judgements at the same time. It is a tension, and we must walk in the Spirit in order to keep our motives in check. The idea of tracking everyone in profiles is a bit unrealistic. I served a ministry that had 200k on it’s mailing list. Clearly, there was no resources to track detailed profiles on all. So, higher capacity givers and those most committed to engagement were tracked by major gift representatives.

  2. Another category faith based organizations might consider adding to profiles is Prayer Requests. It has great impact to pray with a partner, and to then follow up with caring questions when you make your next contact.

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