Major Gift Cultivation – nurture the relationship

It has been said that people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Before asking for a major gift, you must develop trust through a relationship that demonstrates care.  After a major gift, you must retain the relationship through care, effort, attention, and commitment.

A word on Personal Cultivation Opportunities –

The best major gift officers know how to provide a personal touch through small gestures. The possibilities are endless, but a few techniques used are:

  • Scheduling coffee, or a one-on-one lunch.
  • Sending personal, handwritten follow-up notes after a meeting or phone conversation.
  • Sending birthday cards.
  • Sending notes, calls, or emails about upcoming program of special interest.
  • Share “insider” information about the organization before public disclosure.
  • When your organization produces something [booklet, student art, branded pens, etc.], forward the item on to your friend with a brief note and NO ASK.
  • Clipping and sending an article that is known to be of interest.
  • Sending a DVD or tape of a program of interest.
  • Passing along complimentary tickets to cultural events; or, a gift card that was procured and maybe didn’t sell at your auction.

If you invite a prospect to take part in an event normally reserved for major donors, soon after the event is a perfect time to ask that individual to join the group — either in person, by phone, or by mail.

I found a good post on the topic – try…

What is working for you with your key donors?

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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