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Major Gifts: Engaging Your Donors at Every Stage

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  1. Major Gifts:Engaging Your Donors at Every Stage Susan Horvath, CFRE Vice President External Robarts Research Institute Dana James Associate Director, Development Robarts Research Institute November 15, 2006 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

  2. Major Gifts: Engaging Your Donors at Every Stage • Definition • Making the case for major gift focus • Robarts experience • Translating this to your cause • Practical steps

  3. Multiple Choice Quiz • Have a gala dinner • Mail request letter to 200 friends • Organize a lottery • Resign and they can use your salary for the program • Ask one person for $30,000 You need $30,000 to save a program from closing. If you could do only ONE activity to raise the money you would:

  4. Multiple Choice Quiz • > $1,000 • > $10,000 • Twice what donor gave previously • A gift solicited in person • All of the above You consider a major gift to be:

  5. Multiple Choice Quiz • They can help by funding the $1M deficit • Soon your organization’s financial success will mean you’ll be giving out money • They can give to you and then rationalize not supporting others • Their name will appear on new donor wall • Their support will advance research in Alzheimer’s disease You and your CEO are making a solicitation call. His most compelling point is:

  6. Level 1999-2000 2000-2001 2003-2004 2001-2002 2002-2003 $K $K $K $K # $K # $K # # # # $1 M + - - 1 3,000 - - 3 10,900 2 3,000 1 2,886 $500K–1M - - - - 2 1,000 - - 1 - - 500 1 $100K-500K 100 - - 3 575 3 540 4 793 6 1,334 $10K-100K 10 268 14 363 22 570 20 526 9 200 33 1,057 $1K-10K 29 101 40 104 48 132 74 169 67 168 64 161 $100-1K 164 34 158 39 152 125 36 245 72 326 34 66 $1-100 619 16 429 11 565 14 123 5 329 11 310 11 5,516 Total 823 518 642 3,517 792 2,385 348 12,176 4,768 657 740 Impact of Major Gift Focus 2004-2005

  7. Level 1999-2000 2000-2001 2003-2004 2001-2002 2002-2003 $K $K $K $K # $K # $K # # # # $1 M + - - 1 3,000 - - 3 10,900 2 3,000 1 2,886 $500K–1M - - - - 2 1,000 - - 1 - - 500 $100K-500K 100 - 3 575 3 540 4 793 - 1 6 1,334 $10K-100K 10 268 14 363 22 570 20 526 9 200 33 1,057 $1K-10K 29 101 40 104 48 132 74 169 67 168 64 161 $100-1K 164 34 158 39 152 125 36 245 72 326 34 66 $1-100 619 16 429 11 565 14 123 5 329 11 310 11 5,516 Total 823 518 642 3,517 792 2,385 348 12,176 4,768 657 740 Impact of Major Gift Focus 2004-2005

  8. Bioinformatics Centre Goal = $250,000 37 prospects Reception, honouree, mailed proposals, no ask amt, volunteer personal notes, phone fup by staff 3 donors = $10,200 Vascular Biology renos Goal = $350,000 7 prospects F-to-f mtgs, proposal, specific request amt, campaign chair, staff fup 5 donors = $360,700 2 donated to other projects $50k & $250k Comparing 2 Projects

  9. Sources of Donations3 yr avg, $22.5M total

  10. Major Gift Cycle

  11. Major Gift Activity Prospect identification Identification research Prospect review Call Full research profile Volunteer Involvement Tour Resubmit Proposal Follow up Close the gift Gift announcement Gift processing Gift agreement Continued cultivation Media tracking Stewardship

  12. Who are we going to ask?

  13. Prospect Identification • External sources • Donor lists • News sources • Newsletters • Business magazines • Databases • Internal sources • Referrals of volunteers, staff, donors • Current & lapsed donors

  14. How do I know they are willing & able to give?

  15. One Hour or Less of Research • Capacity: $$ • Affinity: interest in the cause • Connection: relationship to your organization

  16. What next?

  17. Prospect Review Meeting • Determine strategy for each prospect • Prioritize • Set activity goals • Share information

  18. How can volunteers help?

  19. Volunteer Involvement • Volunteer roles • Prospect identification, strategy • Door opening (letter, call, tour) • Working with volunteers • Build trust • Set specific actions • Limit administrative demands • Follow through • Collect and record information

  20. What do I need to know? How do I get to know it?

  21. Prospect Research • Start inside your organization • Is there someone you can ask? • Donor records • Free information sources • “Smart” Googling • Fee-based information sources • Funder databases (Big Online, CCP) • Current events (LexisNexis, Factiva) • Is a full profile necessary?

  22. Time to make the call . . .

  23. Book the Call • Call day in your area • Stewardship information • Recommended by volunteer/prof/ etc. • New program of possible interest • Survey on something… donor recognition, new program ideas, communications • You are half-way there!

  24. Call Booking Objections • Coming to ask for money? • No, not this visit • Just send me the information • Would really appreciate getting your input • I’m new, looking forward to meeting past supporters • Would like to hear about your involvement with the organization

  25. What do we talk about when we meet?

  26. On the Call • Chit chat • Stewardship • Organizational update • Ask about objectives • Importance of naming/recognition • Amount, timing, purpose, fit within organizational priorities

  27. I’ve made the call – now what?

  28. Build the Relationship • Call notes • Action plan (ask or continue cultivation) • Tour • Involve volunteers, staff • Guest-friendly agenda • Events • Cultivation opportunity • Personal invitations

  29. It’s time to make that ask

  30. Preparing the Right Gift Proposal • Based on interests • Preferably written • Describe gift opportunity, importance, how it matches interest, amount & timing, suggested recognition • As personal as possible • 2-3 choices is effective • Supporting materials • Presented in person

  31. Program Funding Model Funding Components: Establishing a novel program at Robarts

  32. The Ask – Who Makes the Call • Gift size determines strategy • Small/mid – staff who know the prospect • Large – organization’s leaders • Ideal if 2 people - FR staff PLUS • Pres or VP, Board Chair, senior volunteer, faculty/ scientist, another FR staff

  33. Scripting the Ask • Specific ask – “asking you to consider…” • “Sell” the gift with excitement • Worthy of prospect’s support & participation • Matches prospect’s interests • Emphasize benefits

  34. Concerns or Objections • Listen and restate to confirm • Answer or get the answer • Modify proposal if needed • Stay positive Examples……

  35. Concerns / Objections • Bad timing – can’t commit right now • Not totally committed to this proposal • Foundation asset base low • Won’t be the lead gift • Change in organization’s leadership • Time to support other organizations

  36. Wrapping Up the Call • Thank • Restate gift opportunity • Assume positive response • State follow up plans • You’ll call, send answer to question, call/visit in a week, send draft gift agreement ….

  37. Follow Up • Possible revision of proposal • Engage volunteers • Seek opportunities for contact • New program developments • Media coverage • Events

  38. The answer

  39. Reasons for Saying No • Wrong gift opportunity • Wrong timing • Ask was too high or too low • Specific amount not requested • Needs more involvement, information • Immediate need not conveyed • Just not interested

  40. Handling Rejection • New action plan • Volunteer involvement • More cultivation • Fresh ask

  41. Success! • Gift agreement • Designation • Payment plan • Recognition • Stewardship • Celebrate! • Gift processing • Prompts for stewardship

  42. Thank, Recognize, Steward • Gift announcement • Recognize the donor • Raise organization profile • Involves development and communications staff • News release • Event • Media tracking • Honour gift agreement • Donor wall, plaques, titles, reports

  43. Social gatherings Send relevant publicity clippings Special events Ask for advice Ask to volunteer Invite friends for a personal tour Present success stories Invite to a lecture, news conference Invite to be on a panel Call/email regularly with updates Continued Cultivation ofMajor Donors

  44. Susan’s Tips • Fingertip files: cultivation, solicitation, stewardship • Book call days in your calendar and start calling the names on your list • Do not let other tasks interfere – almost anything else is easier! • Follow up – track status, report to someone

  45. Dana’s Tips • Data entry is relationship management • At all stages of the major gift cycle • Record past, prompt future actions • Accuracy, thoroughness, consistency • Effective and timely retrieval • Be efficient • Ask the potential donor what they want • Share information • Don’t rewrite what you’ve written • Consider multiple uses for materials

  46. Summary – Major gifts…. • … make a big impact • … encourage others to give big • … are rewarding to work on • … introduce you to philanthropic people • … get attention • … are exciting and worth your effort!