Major Gifts CAP University Archdiocese of Hartford
A Plan For Fundraising A well run development program should make available a wide variety of activities that encourage the school’s alumni and other constituents to participate in the ongoing life of the school.
What is a Major Gift? • Any significant donation, from an individual to a charitable or voluntary organization. The dollar amount to qualify as a Major Gift varies from institution to institution and can range from $1,000 to $1,000,000+.
Major Gifts – Moves Management Moves Management is defined as “the strategic sequencing of moves, actions or touches to develop a potential supporter’s relationship or involvement with an organization eventually leading to a commitment.” Identification A solicitor assigns a rating to a constituent Qualification Confirmation of capacity to give is researched Cultivation Through various contact elements (phone, lunch, email, etc.), solicitor initiates a relationship with constituent Engagement There is “personal interaction” with a constituent. Engagement attributes can include volunteer service meetings, acceptance of an award, and a round of golf or a meal. Solicitation A proposal/ask for support is made personally by solicitor Stewardship Solicitor continues relationship with constituent (now donor)
Identification of Major Gift Prospects Donor Identification – The Three AAA’s • Approach • Ability • Affinity Approach Major Gift Donor Affinity Ability
Identification of Major Gift Prospects Approach • Determine the best strategy to contact the prospective donor: • Cultivation Event • Individual Meeting
Identification of Major Gift Prospects Ability • Base the donor’s capacity to give on: • Giving History • Level – Regularity – Frequency • Wealth Screening • In depth prospect research • Occupation - Electronic database screening
Identification of Major Gift Prospects Ability • Base the donor’s capacity to give on: • Anecdotal information • Observation – Referrals and Introductions • Information and clues directly from the donor
Identification of Major Gift Prospects Affinity • Determine the donor’s strongest connection to the school: • Fellow Alumnus/Alumna • Friend • Current board member or active volunteer • Former board member or volunteer • Grandparent • Other
What Does This Mean for YOU? 1. The CAP Team has begun to identify, research and qualify Major Gift/cultivation prospects for your school. 2. A tailored outreach plan should be developed for each prospect. 3. The CAP Team should be seen as a resource as major gift prospects are identified and cultivated.
Qualifying Prospects Live by The Fundamental Rule: Top down…inside out!This means that you should visit prospects who: - have the greatest giving capacity and - who have the greatest affinity for the organization.Organizations are more likely to be successful with high-potential, close-in prospects. Success breeds confidence and leads to continued success!
Cultivating Prospects Initiate a Moves Management Program: • “Moves” are actions you take to build and grow relationships – all of which is designed to put you and your school in a position to solicit alumni for donations. • “Moves Management” is the system of policies, procedures and practices that directs these actions.
Cultivating Prospects • Having a series of short, intermediate and long-term benchmarks for your Moves Management program is essential for a successful major gifts program. • Setting specific goals for targeted prospects gives your fundraising team something to work toward, while allowing leadership to track progress.
Cultivating Prospects • Keep in mind that it is important to define what success means for your Moves Management program. • Some organizations evaluate success by the total dollars raised. • Others look at the number of moves made per prospect within a given time frame.
Cultivating Prospects Starting a Moves Management Program: • Think Strategically • Rate your prospect (what can they give?) • Plan out your “Moves” • Passive Moves: mass emails, alumni magazines, etc. • Foreground Moves: personal, targeted contact • Implement a system to track your “Moves” • FACTS should be used to track all donor contact moves. • If you have any contact with your donor, please be sure to share that information in a timely manner with the CAP team.
Cultivating Prospects – GOAL The goal for each school in the Archdiocese of Hartford is to conduct at least one cultivation event/activity with their major donor prospects • An emphasis should be placed on personal contact and developing relationships • This can include: • Inviting your alumni for a personal meeting or a tour of the school, given by the principal and/or pastor • Hosting a reception to explain or celebrate the current state of the school (Note: this does not have to be a “new” event)
Soliciting Prospects Some factors to consider when planning solicitations: • Consider if a team’s diversity (gender/constituency/etc.) will be something that will be important to your potential donor. • Ideally, at least one member of the team will be someone to whom the prospect will have difficulty saying “no.” • It is often useful to utilize cultivation/solicitation teams – ideally, two people: one of whom is skilled at making the case, and one of whom is comfortable in making the ask. • No Major Gift asks can take place to residents living within the Archdiocese of Hartford during the Annual Bishop’s Appeal (January 1 through May 31).
Soliciting Prospects In preparation for a major gift visit: • Identify a need for the school – what are you asking for? • Prepare a case for support or solicitation document. • Conduct in-depth prospect research. • Ensure the prospect has been cultivated properly and is ready to be asked.
Soliciting Prospects In preparation for a major gift visit: • Determine who is the appropriate person(s) to make the visit. • Determine the amount of the “ask” and for what purpose. • Anticipate questions and concerns from the prospect. • Anticipate objections.
Soliciting Prospects In preparation for a major gift visit, remember these five steps:1. Know Your Prospect • Gather all possible information on your prospect. Make sure you read the briefing and/or the other background information on the prospect. 2. Know What To Ask For • This information should be included in the briefing. Keep your sights high!
Soliciting Prospects 3. Know The Case • Your job is to articulate a “need” and to present your request as a means to help address that need. • Volunteers must be very familiar with basic facts about the fundraising “case.” Review the talking points very carefully. 4. Schedule A Face-to-face Meeting • Arrange for a personal meeting at the prospect’s convenience. -Emphasize the importance of the meeting. -Provide the best forum for presenting your case. -Maximize the level of giving from potential donors.
Soliciting Prospects 5. Review Your Strategy With The Other Member(s) Of The Solicitation Team • Plan in advance who will make the case. • Plan in advance who will make the ask. • Try to anticipate possible points of resistance and develop sound responses to those points.
Soliciting Prospects During the Visit: • Outline the case for support. • Be an active listener. • Be upbeat and relate how the prospect’s gift can make a difference in the lives of your students. • Be confident and make the “ask.” • Ask for a specific amount of money. • Be quiet and let the prospect respond. • Thank the prospect for their gift.
Soliciting Prospects During the Visit: • Schedule a follow up, if needed. • Do not provide pledge form unless a pledge has been confirmed. • Conclude the meeting.
What Does This Mean for YOU? The CAP team may be seen as a resource for each school during the cultivation and solicitation process. A tailored strategy should be developed for every major gift prospect. At the appropriate time, the identified solicitor may view the CAP team as a resource for training and questions on “How to make an ask.”
Soliciting Prospects Five things to do when visiting a prospect: • Be Relaxed... Listen and Be Observant • Begin by thanking the prospect for meeting with you, and for his/her support. • Engage in conversation until you and the prospect are comfortable and at ease. Be a good listener. It is likely that the more information a prospect provides up front, the better positioned you will be to develop the proper solicitation approach. • Look around. What does the prospect’s home or office tell you about them, their interests, or gift making capacities? Are there “clues” that you can utilize to make a more effective and targeted request for help? • Be prepared to spend a good deal of time with the prospect if the situation seems appropriate. Avoid any mention of money until you have had the opportunity to “make your case.”
Soliciting Prospects 2. Make Your Case • It is important that your approach be personal and positive at all times – not, “I don’t know how interested you are in this...” Rather, it should be, “I feel very strongly about this, and I know you will be as interested as I am...” In most instances, your approach to the prospect will be based on his or her relationship with the organization. • Your articulation of the case for support should focus on the needs of the community, not on the organization. • Remember the old-and-true charity adage: people don’t give to organizations - people give to people.
Soliciting Prospects 3. Make “The Ask”...And Encourage The Prospect To Reach • When you feel you have fully developed your case and have a general understanding of the donor’s interests, then begin your solicitation of the prospect by asking for their consideration of a gift. Be sure to put a specific dollar amount on the table. • Unless it has been determined that the strategy for the ask is to seek support for a specific project, couch your request by asking for a gift to support the overall campaign needs. • While it may be beneficial to mention the tax benefits of a major gift donation, don’t over emphasize this point. Major donor prospects are usually fully aware of the tax breaks. It is the case for support that will sell – not an approach based on tax relief.
Soliciting Prospects 4. Allow The Prospect To Respond • Avoid the temptation to fill the pause that inevitably occurs after a request is made. The prospect is considering your request, so please allow him/her time to do so. Any qualifications you might make (i.e., “Perhaps that’s too much…”) will only drive his or her sights downward. • When you have asked for a very substantial gift, a positive response is when the prospect mentions that they are interested, but that they will need to consider the matter further. If this is the case, don’t push. Readily grant them the time to consider his/her level of support and arrange a time and venue (within a week to ten days if the prospect’s schedule permits) to follow-up. • Whether the prospect agrees to a gift on the spot or asks for time to think it over, be explicit about the next step.
Soliciting Prospects 5. Respond Appropriately to the Prospect’s Response If your prospect chooses to make an immediate decision concerning a gift, one of three situations will develop: • You receive the requested amount. In this case, do not prolong your visit or continue overstating the case: prospective donors can experience a change of mind when pressured. Be certain to express sincere thanks and inform them that they will receive a formal acknowledgment letter and pledge intent form confirming their gift. • The prospect indicates a complete refusal. It is a cardinal principle to leave the door open for another contact. To accomplish this: - Avoid any expression of impatience or intent to argue. - Be sincere in thanking the prospect for his/her time. - Ask him/her to extend you the courtesy of giving further consideration to our request and say that you would like to call again after he/she has had sufficient time to consider the matter more fully.
Soliciting Prospects (C) If an offer of a gift below your expectation is made, follow these guidelines… (1) If the prospect’s offer is not too far below what you hoped for, it may be advisable to accept the offer. • If the prospect’s offer is considerably lower than the expected amount, then suggest that the prospect give further thought to the matter and possibly discuss the gift with other members of the family, a lawyer, an accountant, etc. • Tell the prospect that you will follow-up in a week or so. This is the most important item because in many cases, your second visit to such a prospect will produce the desired amount or at least a gift amounting to more than the prospect’s original offer.
Soliciting Prospects Objection: “I would love to give a major gift, but with two children in college, it’s just not possible.” • Your response: “I can imagine how having two children in college can tie up your resources. Many of our donors find themselves in similar situations. Perhaps you can agree to a gift of $___________ now, and consider a larger commitment when your circumstances allow. Objection: “I give to several other charities, so I won’t be able to give that much.” • Your response: “Many of our donors, like you, generously support several charities at once. Right now, the needs of the community we serve are so critical, I’m hoping that you can put our organization at the top of your list.” Objection: “I will not give because I am not happy with . . .” • Your response: “I understand your concerns and I would like to resolve this issue. I know that our leadership appreciates feedback from supporters. If you would like, I will address your concerns with them. I will ask one of them to get back to you next week.”
Soliciting Prospects Five things to do after a solicitation visit: • Ask the donor for suggestions regarding other individuals who might be interested in learning more about financially supporting the organization. • Discuss next steps amongst your development team. • If a gift is made - Send a personal thank you letter to the donor. • If the prospect has asked for time to consider the request - Call or visit the prospect at the assigned time. • If questions have been asked - Ensure that you or a member of the leadership team responds to the questions in a timely manner.
Role Play Put yourself in the right frame of mind: • Make sure you are committed to the campaign. • Assure yourself that this is something that you should be doing! • Assure yourself that you will handle it well. • Be enthusiastic!
Role Play Put yourself in the right frame of mind: • Shape your approach so that you will not be apologetic when you visit a prospect. • Consider the fact that when you make an approach for a large gift, you are representing not just yourself, but your school. • Remind yourself what a successful charitable gift giving campaign will mean.
Role Play • Talk about - and answer questions about - the mission and special initiatives of your organization. • Listen to and engage the prospect. • Ask for help in expanding the potential circle of donors. • Ask for financial support. • Reassure the prospect that their financial support will be properly managed.
Best Practices Ten Things to Remember: • Relax: the individuals you are calling on are generally prior donors or close colleagues of leaders; they are already favorably disposed, and are not cold prospects. • Do your homework and be prepared. • Begin by expressing thanks, not by leading with the ask. • Be a good listener and a good observer. • Remember that you are giving the prospect the opportunity to play a major role in shaping the future of your organization.
Best Practices Ten Things to Remember: • Always keep your sights high. • Ask for a specific dollar amount. • Don’t leave until you are certain that you and the prospect both understand the next steps that need to be taken (e.g., a phone call to obtain the decision, etc). • Ask for suggestions about other prospects. • No one is 100% successful. Be prepared for rejections, review your approach and adjust as necessary. Keep going!
Stewardship of Major Donors Now that you have done all that work, there is more to do! • The single biggest mistake that institutions make is not thanking the donor. • Thank the prospect even if the answer is “no.” • Ensure that a formal thank you letter is mailed in a timely fashion (within 48 hours). • Personal thank you notes make a big difference. • It is almost impossible to “over-thank” a donor.
Growing the Engagement • Effective stewardship usually leads to continued and increased philanthropic support. • Communicate with the donor without asking for money -update letters, newsletters, holiday cards, email blast, etc. • Invite the donor to special events-assemblies, graduation, concerts, plays, sports events, etc. • Continue to engage the donor over time!