The Awful Truth About Many Major Gift Shops

We are wondering – do you think that traditional major gift fundraising may have gotten a bit lazy?

I think the answer is yes. I think that the way we’ve been nurturing and engaging our major donors has not been very effective.

Kathryn Gamble and I have a solution. We are recommending six changes to make that will correct the situation.

Here are six steps to completely change your approach to major donors in these virtual times. Six steps to major gifts – closed on a virtual platform.

Ditch all the entertaining.


Major gift fundraisers have been too focused on entertaining our donors. Lunches, gatherings, dinners, social events – these are the tools in our toolbox. And the moves that we’ve tracked in our moves management programs.

You can be successful without all of this.

Learn to open your donors’ hearts.


In all the focus on events and socializing, many fundraisers have never learned how to have skillful conversations with donors.

These are conversations that dive deeply into the donor’s heart and mind. Conversations that pull forth emotions, stories, histories, personal values – and even joy within a donor.

This is where the giving decision happens. It results from awakening your donor’s emotions.

Save time.


All that socializing with donors may even be a waste of time.

Just think, perhaps we can shorten the major gift cycle, by learning how to ask the donor why they care, what they want to do and when they want to do it.

Learn skillful conversations.


We think it’s time for all smart fundraisers to learn how to have skillful conversations that can qualify a donor, move her forward, and open the ask discussion.

These are skills you need whether you are on a virtual platform, or you are in person. They are the deeper major gift skills it can take decades to learn.

Ask permission.


When you learn how to ask permission properly, the donor never feels pushed.

You don’t ever feel yucky about being too aggressive, either. There are polite ways to gently move forward, by asking the donor if they want to go there.

Take control of donor conversations.


You can learn how to direct a conversation with questions. You can learn ways to gently interrupt and pivot to where you want to go. And still be gracious, donor-centered, and kind.

Raise Major Gifts in Virtual Times

In our new online course, Raise Major Gifts in Virtual Times, you can learn all these skills and more.

We’re teaching how to:

· Identify and qualify the right major donors

· Connect with them deeply and authentically

· Have skillful conversations that lead to an ask

· Close major gifts with confidence

· All virtually

Find out more and register here.

The early bird price for the course ends Saturday June 27  at noon ET. For the early price of $997, you can register up to a total of 5 team members for the course. The price will go up to $1347 on Saturday.

We hope to see you there!