As your organization begins a capital campaign, the first task is to focus intensely on securing "Leadership Gift" pledges (often classified as $100,000 or more, pledged over five years). It is impossible to underestimate the importance of Leadership Gifts and the process of soliciting those commitments.
Everyone knows someone who is capable of making a major gift. I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard trustees and volunteers tell me they don’t know anyone capable of a gift of $25,000 or more. Images are conjured up of mansions, exotic sports cars, and lavish lifestyles. “I don’t run in those circles,” they tell me. According to The Millionaire Next Door (Stanley and Danko, 1996)—most millionaires don’t either.
All fundraising professionals, whether internal development officers or outside fundraising counsel, are concerned about getting the biggest gifts for our client organizations. We want a major gift from every potential donor. We want to hit a home run every time we come up to bat! The only way to accomplish this is by working daily to improve our listening and speaking skills and by practicing for each approached.
Topics: asking for money, capital campaign, capital campaign fundraising, capital campaigns, Capital Campaigns, CDS, Custom Development Solutions, donor, donor prospects, donor relationships, donor stewardship, fundraising, Fundraising Principles, fundraising success, fundraising tips, gift, leadership gifts, major gift fundraising, major gift solicitation, Major Gifts
Non-profit organizations spend most of their time responding to immediate pressures and crises, focusing a great deal on the short term. It seems as though time spent dreaming about huge contributions is a luxury many development professionals cannot afford. Nonetheless, focusing on the day-to-day needs of the organization should not prevent you from planning for the jackpot. As Don Quixote taught us, we must “dream the impossible dream.”