Paul Artherton delivered a session on Big Gift Fundraising as part of the CFNI Accelerator Programme on 12 May. The recording of the session, some key learning points and resources are included in this article.
Big Gift fundraising is something all organisations should consider, no matter what size they are. This form of fundraising can help you to achieve a particular goal and has a clearly defined timetable. Before you embark on it you will need to do a feasibility study – access the level of interest and buy-in, consider existing donorbase, investigate the potential of big gift fundraising, and look at the strengths and commitment of CEO, staff and board. Below are some pointers from Paul from the session he delivered.
Why is big gift fundraising less developed in NI?
- No organisational track record
- Perception that there is no big money in NI
- View that wealthy people are secretive about wealth
- Less experience of fundraising staff
- Lack of confidence of success
- Low or no major donor connections on board
- Availability of more accessible sources of funding
- Resource: CFNI Major DonorGiving in NI
What motivates people give big gifts?
- They believe in the cause and what you as an organisation is doing worthwhile
- Want to share their wealth
- Enjoy their relationships made through philanthropy
- Believe in complimentary roles of government and charity
- Appreciate the recognition
- They are asked
Where do you find where the money is?
- Research, research, research
- Starting point is inside – start with your donorbase
- LAI – Linkage, Ability, Interest
- Suspects v prospects
- Wealthy doesn’t necessarily mean charitable
How do you cultivate donors?
- Donors need to be won over - this comes before you ask for the money
- Make sure they know the project, maybe visit it, so that they understand it.
- Types – presentation, visit location, meeting people involved.
- Emails/letters don’t work
- Patience is needed
- Questions from potential donor are good.
Recognition and stewardship
- Everyone likes thanks and recognition
- Thank you - Letters, cards, phone, in person
- Something physical – sign, notice, on website
- Need to maintain contact
Watch the recording here: