Browsing the archives for the Major Donors tag

On Being Peculiar

We use the word all the time:  “That’s peculiar!”  “He’s just peculiar.” And while our use of the word may not be snidely, on most occasions we use it to mean something less than positive.  In fact, the first definition for the word given by is strange, queer, odd. Many of your major donors […]


Gratitude Is Not Enough

A regular annual fund donor sends in a gift – a check for $1,000.  Your organization promptly produces a gift receipt and sends a letter (either hard copy or electronic) expressing gratitude signed by the appropriate staff person. Is that it?  Is that all that happens? Despite all the talk about “engaging donors,” I’m afraid […]


Lift the Moratorium

Recently, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that the calendar year is off to a strong philanthropic start.  According to a survey of selected large charities, the median increase in giving during the first quarter of 2010 as compared to a year ago is 11%!  Not bad. I’m not an economist, so I can’t say with […]


Solicitation Without Inspiration Equals Frustration

At a national conference for advancement leaders yesterday, I listened to a keynote presentation given by Patrick F. Bassett, president of the National Association of Independent Schools, regarding key trends and predictions for advancement.  One statement he made struck a chord with me, “We are learning from surveys that major donors are reporting an increase […]


The Gift Isosceles Trapezoid

The standard gift pyramid looks something like this: However, when development leaders sort through their database they often find their gift “pyramid” looking more like an “hourglass”: As this graphic suggests, many major gift pipelines are not as robust at the middle gift levels. Why is this the case? Two reasons: First, the annual fund […]