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The Ascent

How to Build a Major Donor Case Part 2

Bread & Butter Donors Heard a great (but rarely heard story) from one of our clients recently. See below. But first, we’re talking this month about building a Million-Dollar Caseload for each relationship manager on your team – annually. Today, we’re focused on the type of major donors we call “Bread-and-Butter Donors.” These good folks […]

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How to Build a Major Donor Caseload Part 1

BIG DONORS! In the next few articles, I’ll focus on the construction of a 7-figure caseload – a caseload of donors who annually contribute at least a million dollars to your organization per relationship manager. The Caseload consists of three major gift categories: Big Donors Bread and Butter Donors Beginning Donors (but still major) In […]

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What Has Happened with Fundraising Talent?

Last week alone, I heard of 10 organizations seeking new or additional gift officer positions. Unfortunately, most were replacing people they felt were not productive.  OUCH! Why is this?  Why does our industry struggle so often with talented development professionals? We could expound on the reasons: Too few leads Not the right fit Lofty expectations, etc., […]

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What every major donor needs: A Story, A Partner, A Reason

I talk to a lot of major donors.  Somehow, they feel comfortable telling me things they may not tell their ministry representatives. Summarizing their comments, I’ve come to conclude that most major gifts are motivated by 3 important factors. A STORY             The story you tell donors explains the grand journey you’re on to solve […]

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Announcing a New Program!! The Million Dollar Caseload!

When we first moved to Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak loomed before us calling out its challenge.  “See if you can make it to the top.” I, my wife, and then 13-year-old daughter took off with friends and with great expectations of summiting America’s Mountain. Filled with enthusiasm, we began the day-long hike through boulders, pines, […]

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School’s out for Summer! – Are your Donors too?

With Memorial Day behind us, summer has officially begun, and fundraising professionals know that giving goes down in the summer months. But it doesn’t have to. It’s true that donors may not be regularly seeing your communications, but summer can be a great time to prepare for an abundant harvest in the fall and end-of-year giving […]

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The Poverty of the Rich

The temptation to see major donors for what they can give is real. “We’ve got goals to hit, budgets to complete, after all.” It is a temptation we must resist. Henri Nouwen tells a compelling story in his classic A Spirituality of Fundraising of a rich banker who wants to help Nouwen with money. The […]

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Three Ways to Amplify Your Claim

Today, more than 1.9 million nonprofits exist in the United States (according to recently filed 990s). Most are dependent on charitable dollars to meet their annual expenses.   Make no mistake your organization IS competing to be heard and understood by the donor public. And you are competing for funding in a declining pool of charitable support. […]

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The Care and Cultivation of Major Donors (4 Tips)

My wife and I just bought our garden plants. The nursery was packed. The dreams of a bountiful harvest of flowers and vegetables were palpable. Each plant variety gave an estimated “harvest date” – when the plant would yield mature produce.  Wouldn’t that be helpful with donor cultivation? Imagine a tag that indicated when the major […]

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A Decision Grid for Nonprofit Leaders

We all wrestle with minute, daily decisions, but sometimes nonprofit leaders spend month’s worth of time and energy coming to a conclusion when a decision requires the full weight of our prayer, conversation, and time to process. The question to ask is if the decision you need to make actually needs as much wrestling and […]

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