The amazing “hiding place” where you can find major donors

Where do you find major donors? At golf courses, yacht clubs, and ritzy to-dos?

Not so much. Most of them are sitting at home reading their direct mail. Like all the donors. So if you need more major donors, take a look at your general direct mail donors. There are some potential mega-donors there!

The Analytical Ones blog shows how important it is to look among your donors for potential major donors, at Major Donors – In the Beginning.

Looking where the major donors to an organization came from — that is, where people who became donors of $1,000 or gave their first-ever gift

Major-donors-by-origin-400x250

Here are the key findings:

55% of the major donors first gave through direct mail acquisition campaigns.

Another 23% gave their first gifts online.

Which tells us two important things:

  1. Poor old, trashy, unpopular, “dying” direct mail is where the largest share of major donors come from. Are you doing enough direct mail to keep that vital pipeline flowing?
  2. Online giving is also extremely important for future major donors. They give online at a much higher rate than others. Is your online giving experience a good one?


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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