A vital link in major gift fund raising is the quality of project education that is devoted to informing top prospects and donors. Major gift competition is fierce. There’s a direct correlation between prospect cultivation, education and positive results. Prospects want to know that their gift will make a significant difference.
At Pruehs & Associates, we have expanded our marketing and communications team to serve a growing client base and to expand our messaging capabilities. We need to better educate our donor prospect pool on the value of the projects we represent and, more importantly, the positive impact a donor can make in investing.
I believe we have to expand our approaches to message delivery. Mass media and social media are great, but may not be enough or the best approaches. What is the best approach . . . a letter, email, phone call or face-to-face visit from the president of the organization? What about special events . . . or a combination of several?
Tactics change and we can adjust . . . We had a plan in place for a prospect. He was asked for a multimillion dollar gift as he had expressed a strong interest and support for the project. In the process of this “ask” discussion, he informed us of a personal problem that prompted him to hesitate committing a major gift immediately. Yes, we can adjust. We had a series of tactics planned that now have to change. Without frequent conversations with the donor prospect, we would have never known about the anxiety he’s facing and would have likely pushed harder. Instead, we are increasing the frequency of positive contact and keeping him up to date on successes. We are increasing his confidence in the project and in our ability to facilitate successful strategies.
What are you doing to better educate YOUR major gift prospects on those projects that are important to your organization?