We can be convinced that the solution to our problems must be in receiving the “big gift” from our wealthiest donor prospect. Maybe for your institution that’s $25 million. Maybe it’s $10 million. Maybe its $1 million.
For a time about 20 years ago, the idea of the “mega gift” and the people with the financial wherewithal to give one, was the hottest topic being discussed in philanthropic circles.
It’s easy to see the attraction of the big gift. It solves our funding problems in one fell swoop. A single donor gets our campaign over the top. The building gets built without crushing debt.
But then what?
Far better to focus our energy and attention on engaging donors and inviting their next “best gifts.”
The top of the gift pyramid is almost never the problem. The problem is the too-small number of donors giving at the middle gift levels that turns the pyramid into an hourglass shape.
Invite your top 50 donors to give an increased gift. Worry less about the next “big gift,” and go about the business of inviting your donors to give their next “best gifts.”
Not only will goals be achieved. You may just find a “big gift” in there somewhere.