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Articles > Fundraising Ideas > How to encourage your regular givers to make a major gift

How to encourage your regular givers to make a major gift

How can you inspire donors to make their first major gift

Good news - your regular donors definitely already know & care about your cause.  But as most fundraisers will know, the Pareto Principle suggests that 20% of your donors will account for approximately 80% of your overall income, so the major gifts are key to reaching your fundraising goals. This principle rings especially true for one-off gifts, which tend to be larger in value.  By encouraging your regular givers to make a major contribution, you can leverage off existing affinity and knowledge about your cause, as well as the trust that these donors already have in your organisation.

Although regular donors are a step in the right direction towards making a major gift, there is still work to be done to figure out where to prioritize your efforts towards those most likely to make a major gift. Using the seven steps of solicitation can be a good way to plan out your major giving strategy, following the life cycle of a major donor that can be tailored to your organisation. However, when applying this strategy to regular givers, you can hone these steps with increased insight and engagement data from previous interactions. 

Delve into the data to identify prospects

A lot of the work to identify potential major donors will be driven by demographics, but it’s worth identifying donors with a significant affinity towards your organisation who may choose to think of you if they receive a large gift in the future. Using engagement data and insights means you can expand your search to pull prospects that might not have ended up in your initial search, but might be worth considering. With ToucanTech, you can filter by a range of engagement points, including event attendance, email opens and clubs joined. You can also see who is interacting on your community site, by filtering by those who have liked or commented on a post, read an article, downloaded a resource or added a photo to their profile. For example; if you post a news article on your campaign progress, you can send a follow up email to everyone that has read or interacted with the article.

What changes a donor’s mind 

Often, regular donors may not have thought about making a major gift, or considered what impact this could have for your organisation. If you’re carrying out effective stewardship, your regular donors will likely have a positive view of your organisation. But compared to monthly donations, major gifts take significantly more decision-making and will result in higher levels of information searching, evaluation of alternatives and post-donation evaluation. Creating resources that are available on your website to show how major donations can drive progress and will be used are helpful, such as a breakdown of costs and laying out a clear vision. Demonstrating a real need for the gift and creating urgency makes the donation easier too, as supporters will feel that their donation is worthwhile and will create a tangible impact.

Use tailored content to steward your donors

Many regular donors have said they would increase their donation amount or consider making a larger gift if they felt appreciated . While it can be tempting to concentrate on the next donation, making an effort to thank your donor and engage them without making an ask will pay off in the long run. You can achieve this through tailoring your content towards previous interests, for example, if they have previously donated to a certain campaign, sending updates on the progress and demonstrating the impact their donation has had. 

Encouraging regular donors to make a major gift isn’t an overnight process, but regular engagement will help to move conversations forward. If you want to know more about how to use an online community to build affinity and steward your donors, contact the ToucanTech team.

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