How to find more major gifts

finding major donors

There's a common misperception in fundraising that you need to look for major donors somewhere outside of your organization.

This is a myth that’s holding a lot of fundraisers and nonprofit leaders back - and it’s one I want to challenge!

The place you need to start is right in your own backyard – and that’s by looking at donors who are already engaged with and supporting your cause.

If you’re an organization with even a small established supporter base, chances are there are donors already giving to you who are interested in making a greater investment in your organization.

Here’s a pattern I’ve seen over and over during my fundraising career…

Donors with significant capacity often start out by testing your organization with a modest gift.

In fact, it’s not unheard of to see a major donor to start off with a contribution of $50 or $75 – and over the course of time (and great, meaningful relationship building), those donations can turn into six or seven-figure transformational donations.

If there is one piece of advice I could give you, it's this:

Start with those closest to you first.

You already have supporters who are ready to be meaningfully engaged and introduced to more aspirational opportunities to create change.

Here are two great places to start building your major gift pipeline:

  1. Look closely at those donors who are giving larger than average donations – depending on the size of your shop, it could be $1,000, $500 or $250.
  2. Another important clue can be found in a donor’s cumulative lifetime giving history, and the date of their first gift – many very generous supporters are long-time donors who are flying under your radar, because they’re giving smaller recurring gifts that add up significantly over time.

If you want more detail on the specific donor lists to review to start building your major gift pipeline, you can download my free .

If you want to raise more money in 2023 so you can reach more people with your important work, this is the perfect place for you to start!

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