Creating a framework for major gifts

As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets done.” And there’s no way to measure your progress if you don’t have it documented. Likewise, you’ve probably heard the addage, “You get what you measure.” If you don’t have a written plan you have nothing to measure your progress against. There’s no way to know if you’re achieving your goals until the final hours of the year when you don’t have time to make any course corrections.

Trust me when I tell you, if you don’t have a written plan and work it on a consistent basis, you’ll be hard-pressed to reach your fundraising goals.

Your overarching strategic major gifts plan impacts the direction for all individual cultivation plans. It should include the following:

Goals: What do you realistically expect to accomplish – both in donor participation and revenue generation?

Pipeline: How many prospects do you have in each relationship phase, and taken together, are those enough to get you to your goals?

Budget: What do you expect to spend to achieve your stated goals, and how will every dollar be spent?

Staffing: Do you have the right people – development staff, executive team, board and volunteers – to accomplish your goals?

Timing: Based on your pipeline, when do you expect to make each ask and when do you anticipate closing each gift?

Performance Tracking: What tools will you use to know when you’ve been successful, and on what schedule will you track your progress?

Want more in-depth information on this and other major gift topics? Check out my new book, Rainmaking: The Fundraiser’s Guide to Landing Big Gifts.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *