Does your organization have a major donor program?
If not… or if you’d like to grow your existing program, it might seem like a big, daunting thing.
But it can be easier than you think. If you follow a few simple steps.
Today, I’ll walk you through figuring out how many major donors you can manage, and building your portfolio. In future posts I’ll show you how to build a relationship with these donors and even walk you through the steps of asking for a major gift.
Step #1 – Figure Out How Many Major Donors You Can Manage
Here’s a simple formula you can use to figure out how many major donor relationships you can manage in the time you have.
A full-time Major Gift Officer, who spends 40 hours a week on major donor fundraising, can manage 120 donors in their portfolio
How many hours a week can YOU spend on major donor work?
Write down that number, then multiply it by 3. That’s how many donors you can reasonably manage.
Let’s say you have 20 hours a week to spend on major donors. This means you can manage 60 donors in your portfolio. You get the picture.
Step #2 – Run a List of Your Donors and Assign Your Portfolio
Now, run a query or report to show all your donors with their cumulative giving in each of the last five years. You may want to export this list to Excel so you can work with it.
Sort the list using the most recent year’s giving column, from highest amount to lowest amount.
You are ready to make some decisions based on your list.
Decide who are your top donors based on the amount given in most recent year, the pattern of giving over the last five years (giving more, giving less, about the same, or all over the place…) and less-tangible factors like how closely aligned they are to the organization and how well you know them.
Leave a little room in your portfolio for lapsed major donors and prospective major donors. A rough percentage should be:
- 80% existing active major donors
- 10% lapsed major donors that could be re-engaged with some work
- 10% prospective donors who have high potential of becoming major donors
This is your portfolio.
This may take a little time, but once you have your portfolio list built, you are off to a strong start.
If there are more names than you can handle, that’s okay. Let your direct mail program do the work of engaging them for now.
In my next post, I’ll share what to DO with the donors in your portfolio.
Read the series:
- A Beginner’s Guide to Major Donor Fundraising Success: Step #1, Build Your Portfolio (This post)
- A Beginner’s Guide to Major Donor Fundraising Success: Step #2, The Plan to Build Meaningful Relationships
- 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