Not too long ago I was having a communique with a seasoned fundraiser. This character works with a big organization as a representative. He informed me that a billionaire had sent $1,000 to the nonprofit and that the CEO fast sent out a letter to the billionaire asking for $50,000.
My colleague became lamenting approximately how a good deal of a mistake this turned into, and I couldn’t agree more with the assessment.
Missing the Point
Although the CEO of the agency was excited whilst he saw the $1,000 present from a excessive-profile billionaire, the remaining thing he need to have completed is to ship an acknowledgment with an ask for extra money. The fact is that the billionaire will possibly in no way donate to the corporation again. The letter overlooked the complete point of improvement.
Donor Has the Money
The first element that probably came to the thoughts of the CEO who despatched the letter was, this donor is a billionaire. He has the cash! While that is, of path accurate, just because someone has the cash to give in your company does now not mean they have got the propensity to accomplish that. Think approximately it, why must they deliver in your organization? No one desires to provide money, despite the fact that they have got a variety of it, to every body and all people. Additionally, millionaires and billionaires tend to get hit up with requests all of the time.
Many years ago, I served as the CEO of a All Inclusive Hunting Donation Request nonprofit company, and I’ve been for your shoes. I’ve had people that I’ve wanted to get to fund our organization ship a test, and I’ve skilled the excitement that comes from receiving one of those important gifts. But, like my colleague, I could never have despatched the billionaire a letter inside the mail thanking him for the $1,000 and inside the same letter inquiring for extra money!
Here’s what I would have carried out:
Sent a personalized thank you letter inside the mail with a penned signature and perhaps a bit notice. I could have expressed my gratitude for the gift and knowledgeable the billionaire donor what would take place with his donation of $1,000.
I would had been privy to the fact that the $1,000 gift could have been given for a large number of reasons, such as a friend asked him to donate, or he somehow came across our organization. A likely motive turned into that he become also “checking out” us with the $1,000 present to see how a relationship should expand.
Therefore, I would have then followed up the letter in the mail (electronic mail is nice, however the probabilities are that a letter this is personalized gets opened due to the fact people acquire too much email). My follow-up could had been a be aware, e-mail or perhaps even a personal name to thank the donor.
I might have evolved a strategy to determine out how I may want to get a communication with him in person. All the whilst, I might were sending information and regularly keep in contact to begin building cognizance of our group.
Once I had secured a non-public meeting with the billionaire prospect, I might are becoming to understand him. I could have requested about his historical past, pastimes, circle of relatives, why he gave to our institution, different philanthropic pursuits, and many others. As CEO, I would have made it a point to study as tons as viable about the donor.
I would have identified that gaining knowledge of the billionaire in my opinion became possibly the most crucial pastime I should do as it became the creation of a relationship. I could have served as his liaison with our organization and the paintings we do.
Once I understood his motivations and hobbies, it might were best then that I would have taken into consideration beginning to see how we should engage him greater appreciably with our institution.
If you’re new to fundamental gift fundraising or have limited enjoy in it, don’t forget an important point: Just because someone can give does no longer mean they have the inclination to achieve this. Having the monetary means is best half of of the equation. And, if it turns out that a leading philanthropist gives on your institution and it’s far a small token, it may certainly be the start of more huge aid, however they must get to know you, and you need to learn about them. If you ever get a present from a billionaire, pause and assume carefully approximately your next steps.