Donor Cultivation

What is a Qualified Major Gift Prospect?

Posted by on Mar 13, 2018 in Donor Cultivation, Featured | 1 comment

What is a Qualified Major Gift Prospect?

I’ve made a big deal in the past about the word “major” modifying the word “gift” and not the word “donor.” (It’s not a large donor. It’s a large gift!) And I’ve made the case that every donor is capable of making a major gift – for them. It’s not how big the gift is in absolute terms. It’s how the donor decision gets made – is this a major decision for them? As organizations, we talk about major gift donors against some arbitrary threshold – like $250 or even $1,000 – but we use it more as an internal term used to identify people for specific recognition. Even adding the word “donor,” as in...

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Reasons and Methods for Donor Screening

Posted by on Mar 6, 2018 in Donor Cultivation, Featured | Comments Off on Reasons and Methods for Donor Screening

Reasons and Methods for Donor Screening

Well-Meaning Tom: The Screening meeting was actually kind of fun! I did what you recommended and got the Board members talking about it and then just sat back. They owned it! DA: That’s great! Screening should help you prioritize your donor stewardship. Well-Meaning Tom: Of course, our Board being our Board, they changed the whole process from what you recommended. I think the end result should be the same, but the process is changed up. DA: Uh oh. Changed up how? Well-Meaning Tom: They didn’t want everyone reviewing the 1,500 names at a Board meeting. So, now I’m supposed to email the list...

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Cultivating Top Donors

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Donor Cultivation, Featured, Plans and Budgets | 2 comments

Cultivating Top Donors

I’m working with three clients right now who are each planning for 2018 cultivation of top prospects. January is an ideal time to do this exercise. Most of these prospects (not all) will be solicited in the Fall, and right now we have 9 or 10 months in which to plan meaningful engagement that will help them say Yes! later. My top prospects include just about anyone who will be singled out for special cultivation attention. In other words, not treated simply as a group. One client is working with more than 100 such prospects. The other two are working with about 50 each. The number doesn’t...

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How will Tax Reform Affect Donor Giving in the Future?

Posted by on Dec 26, 2017 in Donor Cultivation, Featured | 3 comments

How will Tax Reform Affect Donor Giving in the Future?

First of all, I hope that your holiday celebration was warm and cheerful and surrounded by family and good food. Mine certainly was, and I am grateful. I’m getting more than a few requests for help thinking through the potential changes in the charitable giving landscape due to the tax reform package Congress passed last week. Before I attempt to do so, let me first disclaim that: I am not an attorney, and I have not actually waded through the 500-or-so-page tax document (the same could likely be said for many members of Congress). So, what follows is based on what I’ve read and applied to...

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Planning for Year-End

Posted by on Dec 19, 2017 in Donor Cultivation, Featured, Membership | Comments Off on Planning for Year-End

Planning for Year-End

Happy Holidays everybody! I hope that the season finds you warm and comfortable, surrounded by family and good food. I spent the past week sending out Holiday messages to land trust friends and clients all over the country. A lot of them by email. And I was impressed by the number of emails that came back right away with Out-of-Office replies. It reminded me of a post that I wrote in2015.   It is still relevant today, so I’ve reprinted it, only slightly updated, here.   *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *   Let’s say that I’m a donor who wants to give a gift of...

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Gratitude and Gratefulness

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in Donor Cultivation, Featured | 2 comments

Gratitude and Gratefulness

I hope you had a fun Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It was an interesting Thanksgiving for me, set up by a Circle Practice discussion last Wednesday morning. Circle Practice is a ritualized weekly gathering of friends to discuss questions that come up for us in our lives. The question that came forward last week was “How does gratitude show up for you?” Not the more traditional, “What are you grateful for?” but rather “How does gratitude show up in your life?” The best Circle questions stay with me a while, and this one lasted all weekend. A part of the discussion was devoted to the...

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