Seeking Major Gifts In A Primarily Virtual World


Contrary to what you might hear from individuals who are NOT professional fundraisers, it IS possible to raise money during a pandemic.

But in an ever-changing world, your major gifts strategy might need greater attention than in a world where galas, ticketed events, direct mail, bake sales, and other third-party fundraising parties occurred regularly.

Contributed Line can help you develop a major gifts strategy during these times. The strategy will be a living, breathing document that will include the important elements* you need to get started achieving your goals.  

*What are these important elements? Contact to find out! Ask “What are the important elements of the customized development plan?” in the body of your email message.

As I am writing this in August 2020, much ink has already been spilled on best practices on major gifts fundraising during this moment in history, and I won’t attempt to summarize it all here. The information and advice is already free on the internet, as you will see in my reading list below.

If you are a leader or a board member at a nonprofit organization, which I assume you are since you are reading this blog, it is not important that you weigh every piece of data and every opinion on fundraising right now. What is most important is that you do what you need to do to keep serving your mission… and that includes securing gifts of great significance from generous, emotionally invested donors.

If you work with Contributed Line on a major gifts strategy, you will receive contextualization of the latest thinking on major gifts solicitation to your specific organization and your specific situation.

We can work together to create a path and a plan to get your organization where it needs to be.

Even if “major gifts” wasn’t your primary source of revenue in the previous environment… even if you think “major gifts” is not your expertise, serious times call for serious fundraising and the old world of boardroom visits, fancy lunches, and overnight travel are not necessarily the hallmarks of current-era frontline fundraising as they once were.

Whether we are in a pandemic or not, you need an annual major gifts strategy!

Contact today to discuss working on YOUR major gifts strategy.

… or call 402.216.8766

And finally…

One last thing, since I know you are wondering… What is a “major gift?”

While there are many definitions of “major gifts,” depending on your organization, here is the definition I use, as a consultant working mostly with small and startup nonprofit organizations:

A major gift is any single donation totaling more than 3% of your annual budget – OR – any single donation over $10,000.

But the broader definition I use is any gift that might pay for a single week of the organization’s operations, or any gift for which a donor would not typically make without first having a serious conversation with an organizational representative. This amount varies from region to region and within subsectors of the nonprofit world.

A major gift would probably NOT include: grants of any kind, unsolicited gifts, bequests, in-kind/non-monetary gifts, volunteer time, loans.

While I am not in favor of organizations bestowing the title “Major Gifts Officer” upon the employees of their Development offices, I think the term “major gifts” is helpful in establishing parameters around the sort of donations relevant to this conversation.


Reading List of relevant articles:

NONPROFIT PRO: “Major Gifts and Online Fundraising Are Not Mutually Exclusive

BLUE AVOCADO: “Communicating with Donors During a Maelstrom

AMY EISENSTEIN: “Covid-19 Creates New Ways to Solicit Donors

CHRONICLE OF PHILANTHROPY [Username/Password Required]:

Winning Big Gifts — From a Distance

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