5 Tips to Unlock Larger Donations From Major Donors

Major donors play a critical role in fundraising – making it essential for nonprofits to understand how to effectively engage with them. In this blog, we will explore five key tips that can help nonprofits unlock larger donations from major donors. 

From keeping donations relational to educating donors about non-cash giving, these tips will provide valuable insights on building trust and confidence with your major donors. Above all, the best way to unlock larger donations is by being more responsive in your fundraising efforts.

5 Tips for Strengthening Partnerships with Major Donors to Unlock Larger Donations

The world of fundraising can be a daunting and challenging one for nonprofits. To achieve fundraising goals, nonprofits must understand the importance of major donors, who typically contribute 80% of annual fundraising revenue. However, it’s not just about the amount of money these donors bring in – it’s about building a relational foundation that can encourage greater generosity with your nonprofit.

1. Keeping Donations Relational

Asking for money can be an uncomfortable experience. It’s helpful for your team to have a game plan on how to make it more relational. So remember, giving typically starts in the heart, not the head. Major donors are most likely giving because they believe in the cause. Because of that, it’s important to keep everything relational, rather than transactional.

Here are a few specific ways you can make the donation process more relational to unlock larger donations: 

Build Personal Relationships

Take the time to genuinely connect with major donors on a personal level. Schedule one-on-one meetings or phone calls to get to know them better. Use those conversations to understand their motivations for giving and show genuine appreciation for their support. Avoid making it solely about the ask for money. Instead, focus on building a meaningful relationship based on trust and shared values.

Share Impact Stories with your Major Donors

Instead of just presenting facts and figures, share compelling stories that illustrate the impact of the donor’s contribution. Share real-life examples of how the nonprofit’s work has made a difference in the lives of those it serves. Use testimonials, success stories, and anecdotes to make the cause relatable and emotionally compelling, touching the donor’s heart and reinforcing their belief in the cause.

Make a Suggestion, not an Ask 

Instead of making an “ask,” reframe this process to be geared towards suggestions. Suggest the next step for your supporters based on their specific interests and motivations. Understand their giving preferences and level of engagement, and align the ask with their philanthropic goals. Avoid generic or transactional language, and instead frame the suggestion in a way that highlights the donor’s passion for the cause and the impact their donation will make. Show that their contribution is a meaningful investment in the cause, rather than just a transaction.

By implementing these action items, fundraisers can create a game plan that focuses on building personal relationships. Remember, giving typically starts in the heart, and by fostering a genuine connection with donors, fundraisers can cultivate long-term partnerships based on shared values and beliefs in the cause that will result in unlocking larger donations over time. 

2. Educating Donors About Non-Cash Giving

Nonprofits can also educate donors about non-cash giving and make it easy for them to give through online platforms like Overflow. Donors may not be aware that giving stock (or crypto) directly to a 501c3 organization isn’t subject to the 20% capital gains tax. Educating donors about non-cash giving can save them money and provide tax savings directly to the nonprofit organization.

Here are a few specific things you can do to ensure donors are aware of their non-cash giving options:

Provide Educational Materials

Share educational materials that explain the benefits of non-cash giving, such as donating stocks or cryptocurrency, to your nonprofit organization. Use simple and accessible language to help donors understand the process and benefits of non-cash giving. Emphasize how it directly supports the mission of your nonprofit. Make these educational materials readily available on your website, in fundraising campaigns, and during donor meetings to ensure that donors are informed about the option of non-cash giving.

Offer Easy Online Giving Options

Utilize online platforms, such as Overflow, that make it easy for donors to give non-cash gifts online. Set up a user-friendly and secure online donation portal that clearly outlines the different non-cash giving options available. Ensure this portal provides step-by-step instructions on how donors can make these types of gifts. Make sure to promote and share the online giving option in your fundraising campaigns, newsletters, and social media to raise awareness among donors about the ease and benefits of giving non-cash gifts online.

By providing educational materials and offering easy online giving options, fundraisers can effectively educate donors about the advantages of non-cash giving. These materials also make it convenient for them to donate stocks, cryptocurrency, or other non-cash assets to your nonprofit organization. This can not only save donors money in capital gains taxes but also provide direct tax savings to your nonprofit. Ultimately, non-cash giving benefits both the donor and the organization.

3. Direct, One-on-One Conversations

Building trust and commitment to a nonprofit organization takes time and patience. One-on-one conversations with major donors can be an effective way to foster a connection, show them the value and impact of their contributions, and engage them with stories of breakthroughs, navigating challenges, successes, and future dreams. Be honest and clear about your needs and goals. 

Check out this downloadable worksheet for more specific steps you can take to be prepared for these conversations. 

4. Talk Data and Analytics

Using data and analytics is a proven way to make strategic, informed fundraising decisions. While donors may love stories or testimonials about a cause, some may simply want hard data on how effectively their money is being used. Being able to pull accurate figures for them at the drop of a hat will help build trust, transparency, and confidence. Use data-driven fundraising to tailor your ask to each donor’s specific situation.

Here are some things you can to set up your organization for unlocking larger donations with data and analytics: 

Implement a Responsive Nonprofit CRM

Invest in a responsive nonprofit CRM that allows you to collect, analyze, and report on donor data in a timely and efficient manner. A responsive CRM will enable you to track and analyze donor interactions, engagement levels, and giving history, as well as segment donors based on their preferences and behaviors. A responsive nonprofit CRM will also enable you to generate accurate and up-to-date reports and analytics that can be easily accessed and shared with donors to provide data on how their money is being used.

Conduct Data Analysis 

Use data analysis tools and techniques to mine your donor data for insights and trends that can inform your fundraising decisions. Analyze donor giving patterns, donor demographics, donor signals, and past campaign performance to identify opportunities for targeted fundraising efforts. Data analysis can also help you identify donor retention trends, donor acquisition channels, and campaign performance metrics, allowing you to make informed decisions about where to allocate your fundraising resources for the best chance of unlocking larger donations. 

5. Create a Moment in Time to Share Your Vision and Current Needs

Events provide a space to have those one-on-one conversations, share analytics and progress, and make the cause even more real by putting faces to names. Host events where you can share your vision and needs, and connect with a large part of your audience. Use auctions or other activities to amplify the effect of your event.

Here are some specific ways you can create these types of moments for your current and potential major donors: 

Host Vision-Sharing Events

Plan and host events where you can share your organization’s vision, goals, and progress with your supporters, specifically your major donors. These events can be in-person or virtual, depending on the circumstances and preferences of your donors. Use compelling stories, testimonials, and visuals to make the cause more real and relatable to donors. Be transparent about the impact of their donations and how their support has made a difference. Use the event as a platform to inspire and motivate donors to continue supporting your cause.

Utilize Auctions or Other Activities

Incorporate auctions or other fundraising activities into your events to amplify the impact. For example, you can hold a silent auction, live auction, or online auction during your event where donors can bid on unique items or experiences related to your cause. You can also incorporate other fundraising activities, such as pledge drives, raffles, or games that align with your cause and engage donors in a fun and interactive way. Make sure to effectively communicate the purpose and impact of these activities during the event, and express appreciation for donors’ participation and generosity.

By hosting vision-sharing events and utilizing auctions or other activities, fundraisers can create opportunities to connect with donors, share progress, and make the cause more real and relatable. These events can inspire and motivate donors to continue supporting the cause and amplify the impact through additional fundraising activities.

Key Takeaways

Nonprofits must focus on building and strengthening partnerships with major donors to achieve fundraising goals. By following these tips, nonprofits can build trust, transparency, and confidence with their major donors and unlock larger donations without pressuring or alienating their donor base.

About Overflow

Overflow makes it possible for people to seamlessly donate stocks, crypto, cash, and more, directly to their favorite nonprofits and causes they care about.

Overflow provides nonprofit organizations with products and services to streamline the donation process. With Overflow, nonprofit organizations receive “The Overflow Advantage” that is beautifully designed and inspires big giving, a Nonprofit Dashboard to streamline back-office tasks such as reconciliation and executing charitable acknowledgment letters, and an excellent service to roll out this fundraising channel to their donor base in a sophisticated and intelligent way.

If you are interested in unlocking new ways to give, contact Overflow.

What you should do now

Below are three ways we can help you begin your journey to building more personalized fundraising with responsive technology.

Take a self-guided tour of Virtuous, where you can explore the platform at your own pace and see if Virtuous is right for you. 

Download our free Responsive Maturity Model and learn the 5 steps to more personalized donor experiences.

If you know another nonprofit pro who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via Email, Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook.

The Responsive Maturity Model
5 Steps to More Personalized Donor Experiences
Get Responsive Fundraising Tips
Get updates delivered directly to your inbox.
Actionable tips and insights for personalizing donor engagement with responsive fundraising.
How to Create Responsive Donor Journeys With Your CRM

How to Create Responsive Donor Journeys With Your CRM

By leveraging your CRM to create responsive donor journeys, you are nurturing relationships that are likely to result in long-term engagement and support.
3 Ways to Use Multichannel Engagement to Retain Donors

3 Ways to Use Multichannel Engagement to Retain Donors

With a multichannel engagement approach, you can reach donors in their preferred channels, connect more deeply with them, and retain their support over time.
Unlock Success: Donor Segmentation Essentials

Unlock Success: Donor Segmentation Essentials

Responsive donor segmentation can help you unlock behavioral insights that deepen engagement with donors. Read on to learn how to leverage these insights.

Grow generosity with Virtuous.

Virtuous is the responsive fundraising software platform proven to help nonprofit organizations increase generosity by serving all donors personally, no matter their gift size.

“Virtuous truly understands nonprofits and the importance of our mission. And their open access to data and built-in custom reports gave us access to the data we need.”
Todd Shinabarger
Chief Information Officer