CASE STUDY

5 Things to Know Before Making Your Next Major Gift Ask


 

1) KNOW YOUR DONOR’S ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY
How much have they given, for how long, what was the last ask you’ve made or gift they’ve given, what was the last step, and did you follow up on that last step?

2) KNOW YOUR DONOR’S PERSONAL HISTORY
Did they sell a business or get a new job? Did they make any large gifts? Are his or her kids in college? Do they have medical issues? Some of this can be researched, but much of it will be learned through good donor cultivation.

3) KNOW YOUR ORGANIZATION
What are your past results? What do you plan to accomplish this year? What’s your budget? What’s your endowment? How many staff do you have? (Know all of this in detail!)

4) KNOW YOUR ASK
Have you thought through exactly what you’re asking for from the donor? Have you developed a meeting plan and schedule? Have you rehearsed your ask? What questions might the donor ask, and are you prepared for them? Do you have all of your details? Do you have a proposal to leave behind?

5) KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
Be prepared for anything to happen in the meeting. What’s your backup ask? What’s your minimally-acceptable outcome? What are the follow-up steps to get this outcome? Who can you leverage to get the outcome? What’s your stewardship plan once you get what you want?

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