One-day only fundraising advice for boosting major gifts

One-day deals and products are all the rage lately. We think there might be something special to the whole exclusivity thing, so to jump on the band wagon–better late than never–we asked our senior development advisor Roy Jones for some exclusive fundraising advice for boosting major gifts. Here’s his top 6 tips…

1. Be extra vague. Too much detail about the need for the gift will definitely make you seem too knowledgable. Instead it’s better to be vague and let the potential donor’s imagination fill in the blank.

What's not to trust from Roy Jones?!

Expert major gift booster Roy Jones.

2. Talk only about your interests and desires. Any conversation with a major donor should be 98% about you, and only 2% about the donor’s interests and desires. The moment the donor thinks you’re willing to listen could be the end of your major gift program. 

3. Don’t let them think their gift is helpful. If you give a mouse a cookie…

4. Just wing it. Everyone knows that the secret to asking for a major gift is to just go with whatever is on the tip of your tongue. Practice is for rookies, and major donors specifically love unprepared presentations. You don’t want to exceed their expectations ever. 

5. Treat every potential donor and gift the same. In fact, forget the donor’s name. It’s not important. Neither are their interests or how they might envision the use of their major gift. 

6. Never say thank you. Even if your mom taught you to always have manners, we know better. Years of fundraising experience tells us that saying thank you can be a detriment to the donor relationship. Plus (bonus!) you can trust that they already know you’re thankful. No one needs to hear it anymore.


What do you think? Are there other tips you’d add to this list for boosting major gifts? Tweet them to us @RussReidAgency

This advice expires at 11:59 pm on April 1, 2015. 

Roy Jones is Russ Reid’s senior development advisor, CFRE, 26+ years of fundraising experience, and co-author of Rainmaking: The fundraiser’s guide to landing big gifts.