What’s the best approach for a leadership gift prospect? Emphasize the importance to your overall fundraising project of this individual supporting you — both in terms of ENDORSEMENT to the constituency of your project and in terms of LEADERSHIP in setting the level of giving for other prospects.
“We are coming to you first because of the position of respect and prestige you command in this community (or within this constituency). A major gift from you serves as a strong signal to others that we are a worthy charity.”
You are asking him or her to make an investment in the future quality of your organization and its efforts.
Demonstrate how his or her gift with help individuals in ways that are not currently available.
Present the recognition possibilities and try to discover what their preference may be. Remember that recognition draws attention to your program and is an important to you as it could be to the prospect.
Every dollar given represents significantly more in long term debt financing or debt.
Ask questions. Let the prospective donor tell you what his or her interests or passions may be.
Understand that when a donor makes a significant gift, it is usually his or her idea. You are merely planting the concept and determining a reaction.
End the initial appeal with an invitation to visit the organization, a follow up meeting with others involved or an indication of a time when you will take again — whatever is most appropriate to continue moving the process along.
Making a major gift is generally not a one-contact call. Be prepared with suggestions to the next steps.
For more information on solicitation training for your organization’s board or development staff, click on the Contact Us tab at the top of this page.