“If we are going to have success in this next campaign, we will need to find new major donors.”
Almost certainly you have heard a board member, a president, or someone else state something similar. Or, perhaps, you have said something similar!
While there are a variety of issues related to this type of statement, one that rarely gets acknowledged is the fact that identifying and inviting prospective donors to make major gifts is almost exclusively successful when board members, other volunteer leaders, or current major donors introduce new prospects to institutional leaders.
The “we are going to need to find new major donors,” is almost never followed with, “. . . and let me introduce you to a business colleague who I think would be interested in learning more.”
We aren’t going to “mass market” our way to attracting new major donors consistently. We aren’t going to “social media” our way to attracting new major donors consistently. We aren’t going to “direct mail” our way to attracting new major donors consistently.
The only consistent way for institutions to attract new major donors is to have someone already invested willing to use the power of their invitation with a friend.
The next time you hear this type of statement, a helpful response would be, “Yes, adding new major gift donors is needed! We have found personal introductions with new prospective donors to be an effective way to get that process started. Who do you have in mind?”