A Beginner’s Guide to Major Donor Fundraising Success: Step #2, The Plan to Build Meaningful Relationships
Last time we worked through the steps of figuring out how many major donors you can successfully manage, and which major donors you should manage.
Now that you have your portfolio set, it’s time to start building relationships with these donors.
An exceptional donor experience is at the heart of an effective major donor fundraising program. This means attempting to build a genuine and authentic relationship with each donor.
First, work through your list and come up with a plan for each donor. Focus on your current major donors first, then your lapsed major donors, then your prospective major donors.
During this phase, you will develop fundraising offers (what would the donor be excited about funding?), communication calendars (when are you going to approach them?), and the best fundraising approach for each person (how are you going to approach them?)
Here’s what this involves:
- Identify the best possible fundraising offer for each donor by matching up their interests with your organization’s needs. (Free eBook available here.)
- Determine the next step for each donor in the Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat communication rhythm.
- Create a systematic but relational plan to connect the donor’s personal mission/heart with the mission/outcomes of your organization.
Plan to have three to four interactions (meetings or phone calls ) with each donor per year. Then add in some additional email or text check-ins. When your portfolio is the right size, this is very possible!
One or two of the meetings should be asking the donor to make a gift. The other interactions should be thanking and reporting back on what their giving made possible.
For a full-time gift officer, this will mean 7 – 10 major donor phone calls or meetings each week.
Next time… a bonus simple strategy to start building major donor relationships IMMEDIATELY!
Read the series:
- A Beginner’s Guide to Major Donor Fundraising Success: Step #1, Build Your Portfolio
- A Beginner’s Guide to Major Donor Fundraising Success: Step #2, The Plan to Build Meaningful Relationships (This post)
- A Beginner’s Guide to Major Donor Fundraising Success: BONUS Simple Strategy to Build Relationships Immediately
- A Beginner’s Guide to Major Donor Fundraising Success: Step #3, How to Ask for a Major Gift