Major Donor Fundraising: Your Year End Push Begins Now


If you’re a small- to medium-sized nonprofit, chances are you need to Report back to your donors what their gifts have accomplished. Especially to your major donors.

We suggest this because, on average, 71% of donors to nonprofits do not know what their gift accomplished.* Do your Major Donors know what happened because of their last gift? If not, you need to Report. Immediately.

Here’s what to do this November:

  • Identify your Top 12 major donors who have given a gift in the last 12 months.
  • For each donor, ask yourself “Do they really feel like their last gift made a difference?” If your answer is “no,” you need to Report to them.
  • Find a beneficiary story that has a powerful “before” and “after”. Get a photo of that person (quality doesn’t matter).
  • Set up a 15-minute phone call with each Major. Clearly tell them, “I am not going to ask you for a gift, I want to share a story of what your gift accomplished.” Email them the photo.
  • On your call, share the “before” and then share the “after.” Don’t talk for more than 30 seconds about what your organization did for the beneficiary, just stay focused on the beneficiary.
  • End by saying something like, “I just wanted to share this story with you because it wouldn’t have happened without your help. This is the kind of thing that happens each time you make a gift.”
  • Don’t talk about any other topics unless the donor asks questions. The whole goal of this meeting is to Report the story in a powerful way. That’s it.

When you’ve finished what we’ve recommended above, you will have accomplished two incredibly powerful things:

  1. You’ve thrilled each donor by proving that his or her gift made a real difference in the life of one person.
  2. You’ve radically increased the chance that each donor will give you a gift the next time you ask. You know, in December. Next month.

You’ll also have raised some money, because some donors will be so thrilled to hear what they’ve done that they’ll want to do more of it right away.

And you’ve taken the all-important first step towards implementing Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat – a simple fundraising system that will make your life easier and will help you raise more money.

* This figure was derived from research done by Dr. Adrian Sargent, 2000.  Click here to see the research document.

Jim Shapiro

Jim Shapiro is the fundraising coach you’ve always wanted, the proven Sherpa who can help you get to the top of the mountain. Jim has 30 years’ experience raising money, including serving as the VP of Development for a global $100m nonprofit. He co-founded The Better Fundraising Co. to help small-to-medium nonprofits raise more money.

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