Major Donor Fundraising: Major Donor Fundraising is Addition, not Subtraction

Major Donor Fundraising

To anyone who does major gift fundraising, I want you to see your work as adding incredible value to the lives of your donors.

Too many people look at major donor fundraising as subtraction: they think that you’re taking money from donors in order to do something great.

But from the donor’s point of view, it’s not subtraction.  Great major donor fundraising adds value to a donor’s life by connecting their money to their good intentions.

Over my two decades of major gift fundraising I have come to realize that my job is less about the money and more about what my donors value.  My job (and yours) as a major gift officer is to help the donor connect their money with their good intentions.  When donors truly understand how their gifts do that – and are given compelling opportunities to do so – amazing charitable impact happens.

So now it is your turn.  Take what I’ve learned and put it into action.  Don’t look at your work as subtraction – taking money from major donors to do something great.  See your work as addition; a chance to add incredible value to the lives of the major donors by giving them opportunities to connect their intentions with their wealth.  Simply put, look at your job as connecting good people with good work.

When you look at major gift fundraising through this lens you begin to see the incredible value you provide your major donors each and every day.

Jim Shapiro
Jim Shapiro

Jim Shapiro is the fundraising coach you always wanted, the proven Sherpa who can help you get to the top of the mountain. He has 20 years experience raising money, including serving as the VP of Development for a $300m nonprofit. He then co-founded The Better Fundraising Co. to help small-to-medium nonprofits raise more money. Jim is married, serves his community by coaching high school football, and has three children.

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