The one skill you need to raise more major gifts


So, I have a major gift philosophy: I believe any organization can raise more major gifts – even if you’re a smaller shop, or a one-person fundraising team.

The key is to start small, and build your confidence by doing – book that meeting, get face to face with a donor – maybe start with someone a little closer to your organization - and practice.

And there’s one skill you can work on cultivating that will make all the difference when you’re communicating with your major donors – or anyone who supports your cause.

And that skill is curiosity.

So, before your next major donor meeting, sit down and get curious about your donor. You can use your curiosity about you donor to prepare a few key questions you might like to ask in preparation for your next meeting.

How did they first get connected to your organization?

What is the change they want to see in the world?

Why does the work they’re supporting resonate with them?

When you’re cultivating the skill of curiosity with your donors, focus on using open ended questions, which require a more thoughtful answer, as opposed to closed ended questions, that can be answered with yes or no.

If you want to delve a little deeper into this topic, you can check out one of my most read resources, an article called 3 secrets to successful major gift meetings.

Have fun cultivating curiosity with your donors – I think you’ll be surprised at how much it can deepen your relationships when you work on developing this crucial skill.

Emma Lewzey, CFRE is an award-winning fundraiser who has been helping great causes like yours build and grow successful fundraising programs since 1995. She’s the President-Elect of the world’s largest Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Chapter in Toronto, and the National Chair of AFP’s Fellowship in Inclusion and Philanthropy. Contact Emma to book your free discovery session, and find out how you can work together to strategically focus your precious resources on the fundraising initiatives that truly work.

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