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Seeking the Big One

fundraising approach When you’ve been in the fundraising profession as long as I have, you begin to the see the wisdom in aphorisms such as “what goes around comes around.”

Am I sounding like an old man yet?

Seriously, I’ve seen many a fundraising approach come and go—and come again. I’m sure you have, as well.

These days, seeking large gifts (some people call these “major gifts”) as a fundraising approach is really trending.

Not that having an asset gift program isn’t important—because it is.

It’s important in a manner you may not be thinking of, however.

True, such gifts bring considerable resources into your nonprofit. In sufficient size and directed in the right way they can be down right transformational.

I’ve witnessed this myself.

What I’m seeing these days is what I’ll call “seeking the big one.” You know what I mean. The one big gift that will

  • Really put you on easy street and relieve the need to do a lot more fundraising
  • Rescue your organization from near insolvency
  • Make it possible to fund those pet programs—regardless of donor buy-in

Don’t get me wrong. I really believe in large asset gifts. Much of my experience in fundraising has been in the cultivation and closing of such investments.

Allow me to suggest that a “major” gifts program is never stand-alone. It’s just one part of fundraising program that sustains itself and scales.

Principle 6 of The Eight Principles™ is Divide & Grow™. Treat different donors differently. But realize it takes all donors—of all shapes, sizes and abilities to create the fundraising program that keeps on giving—and growing.

Growing your asset-giving program isn’t about waiting for—or single-mindedly seeking the big one.

It’s about growing those investors who already believe in you. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find, if you look closer to home.

Now that’s a sustainable fundraising idea.

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