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How To Identify Your Potential Major Donors PDF

A major donor can provide your fundraising organization with a great source of support. By providing your organization with a significant gift, this major donor will physically demonstrate its genuine commitment to your cause. But how can you find this major donor? Here are some tips for you to follow when trying to identify your next major donor.

Start by watching for potential donors who self-identify. If they send you a large gift in direct response to your appeal – an email or direct mail - they will say everything with this donation. They are really interested to support your organization and your future fund raising efforts. You should also pay attention to all the checks the donors give you in order to notice whether the check was written out of a special giving account or a Trust account. This will be an indication of your donor’s capacity to give. Another thing you might consider is to read some annual reports of other fundraising organization in order to see if some of your donors show up in their own major donor lists – this will let you know how much your current donors give to other fundraising organizations. You will also have to run the entire donor list through the wealth-screening service in order to see which of your less major donors have the potential of giving more to your organization. When planning to ask for major gifts, you will have to follow the next steps in order to make sure that your efforts will be successful.

Start by doing your homework in order to make sure that you are familiar with all the programs and services that are offered by your organization. You will have to review your own Points of Pride in order to be fully prepared to share your personal experience related to the work your organization provides. Next, you will have to gather the necessary and important information about each of your future major prospects in order to develop a profile for each of them. This profile must contain the answers to the following sentences - what are the prospect’s interests, what has this major donor contributed to previously, what is the largest gift the donor has ever given, does the donor give individually or through a company or a family foundation, does this donor have a philanthropic fund with local foundations, is the donor a candidate for estate planning and deferred gift discussions, who are the donor’s key financial advisors, has the donor recently sold a business or an inherited significant resources, how is the donor’s business doing and does the donor have a loved person who may be the appropriate one for future memorializing or even honoring with the gift. Finally, you will have to establish the right "rating" for each of your donors - how much should your organization ask the donor to consider as a gift? By creating the donor’s profile, you will be able to determine whether this donor is the major one your organization needs or not.         

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