How you might be annoying most of your major donors

Here’s a mind-blowing truth about major donors from the Veritus Group Blog, at Why Qualifying Donors is Worth It.

… only about one-third of donors who give you a major gift want to relate to you in a personal and meaningful way.

Think about that: A large majority of your major donors don’t want the “typical” major donor treatment! If you’re trying to force all your major donors into your major donor program, you’re wasting your time. And probably pointlessly annoying the two-thirds who don’t want it.

So find out which donor should and should not get the major donor personal treatment. That is, qualify your portfolio.

If you don’t qualify your portfolio, you cannot call yourself a donor-centered fundraiser. You’re either just out to make some kind of unrealistic number or revenue quota to look good on reports, or chasing donors who don’t want to be caught in some kind of quirky game of yours.

The two-thirds who don’t want the treatment? They can happily support you through the channel that got them there in the first place — most often direct mail.

Concentrate your time on the smaller group who want the relationship. It’s a win-win!


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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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