The Whats, Hows, and Whys of Major Gift Solicitation
The benefit of major gifts is obvious. But the process of identifying and securing them—that’s not so obvious.
That’s why AFP has put together a Dec. 10 webinar, led by Vern Snyder, ACFRE, vice president for institutional advancement at the University of Toledo, on how to define and calculate a major gift and the process of working with a donor. We sat down with Vern briefly to learn a little more about major gifts.
AFP: How do you define a major gift?
Vern: Major gifts are those gifts that can fund important projects and programs, demonstrate the donor’s belief in the organization’s mission and have a transformational impact on those priority programs, projects and the entire organization. It is not the number of zeros but the impact.
AFP: How do you calculate how much to ask for?
Vern: In my background it is called review and evaluation. In effect this process is a combination of prospect research, input from knowledgeable volunteers, the donor’s interests and past giving. The most important input is from the volunteers. Simply put: Interest + Ability = Potential.
AFP: How do you take the shock or “sting” out of a really large ask?
Vern: If the “ask” is set up properly there is very little shock. The donor, through the cultivation process, understands the magnitude of the project, his/her importance to the project and how they might make this gift. Does the donor get a little pale when asked for a million dollars? Yes.
AFP: How long should it take to cultivate a major gift/how many touches?
Vern: Research indicates 18 months to 2 years for a major gift defined as $100,000 and up with 7 to 8 contacts over that time. View these numbers as a roadmap. Many times the process moves more quickly if the solicitation plan is designed to close more quickly.
AFP: On a different topic, you’re an ACFRE and a member of the ACFRE Certification Board. Obviously this designation is important to you. How as achieving your ACFRE helped you both professionally and personally?
Vern: The ACFRE certification process had a significant impact on me. The process helped me to solidify my philosophy of philanthropy, have a clearer understanding of the impact of philanthropy on our society and our world, as well as a deeper appreciation of donors and their wonderful ability to change the world. The ACFRE credential provided me with confidence that I know my profession and can teach others.
To find out more about donor motivation and major gift cultivation join us for Vern’s webinar on December 10, 2015 at 1:00 PM Eastern, “The Whats, Hows and Whys of Major Gift Solicitation”.
For more info or to register, click here.