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The Ins and Outs of Major Donor Fundraising - Interview With Louise - [Video]

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

Fundraising is most often broken down into two categories: normal donor and major donor.

And as much as all charities would love to receive the larger donations, there needs to be a correct strategy in place. We spoke to Louise from Fundraise UK to talk all about what major donor fundraising is, how to go about starting, and any pitfalls and mistakes to try to avoid.

If you would like to learn more about major donor fundraising, this is the blog for you!

What is major donor fundraising?

A major donor is an individual who makes a gift that has a significant impact on your charity.

So for example, some high net-worth individuals and major donors might give 40,000 pounds of their own money.

What should people consider before starting major donor fundraising?

Well, definitely, If you are prepared for a relationship based approach. And that sounds really obvious, but you know, questions I often ask is, you know, how many times are you in contact with your supporters without asking for money? How keen and how ready are the leadership, your CEO, maybe trustees willing to meet Potential donors and understand more about them?

Major donor fundraising is a longer game. So that's the other thing to think about, time. And how does this fit in your strategy? It does take a bit of time to, particularly for those donors who might not know your organization so well to build a relationship. To a point where they trust you and they want to give that larger gift.

The other thing to think about is how you work across your organization and how well you're looking after your individual givers, your regular givers mm-hmm and what that is that experience from the start, because somebody could give you a 20 pound per month gift.

They could have the ability to give you 25,000 pounds. And their experience right from the start, as I said, we want everyone's experience to be great, but if they don't have a great experience, they're not gonna have you on their radar for potential their larger giving.

Have you got a 30-second hack on how people could get the ball rolling?

if you have an individual supporter base, pull off. Do a report of cumulative giving regular and single cash giving. Who's been giving more than 200 pounds in the year? If that leads to thousands of people, higher it to 500 pounds in the year. It's a really good starting place.

This isn't necessarily an indication of what they'd give in the future. The second thing in terms of networks, which is the hack is a mindset. The set shift that people talk about the board and our board aren't very well connected. You might just have one trustee, who is a partner in the law firm, who's well connected in the business world. Who is that one or those two trustees that you could build those relationships with one on one and not worry that you are not well connected?

What is the worst major giving mistake you've seen?

The main thing is not having the right building blocks in place. So not having actually maybe done some wealth research, realised who their potential donors are, and not put the resource on it. Then six months down the line say it's not working.

What's the quickest way you can turn away a major donor from giving to you?

The asking too fast is really interesting. Often, we're talking about wealth, we're talking about power and we're sometimes talking about white privilege. So when we talk to a major donor, it is easy to not know where they're coming from, and start talking to them about the cause and what we are asking for. When they might have just taken a meeting because their trustee persuaded them to, and just treating things like a conversation.

Finally and very importantly, we would like to know what your favorite cereal is?

Crunchy nut cornflakes, hands down. Every time. And my kids love them, but they have got too much sugar in them, so they're only allowed it on the weekend!

A great place to learn more about that is on by joining our newsletter. We'll be interviewing fundraising leaders and uncovering the secrets behind digital fundraising. Subscribe now! 📧

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