Many nonprofits have wonderful relationships with their smaller individual donors, but find it hard to crack the ice when it comes to larger donors, like philanthropists or corporations. We get it! Bigger donors can be intimidating at first, but they don’t have to be. Here are some tips for engaging them:
Start by thinking longterm
Bigger donors may very well want to be donors for a while—after all, they want to make sure their money is going somewhere where they can see tangible improvement or growth. Great! Make sure your fundraising database is set up for these sorts of long-term relationships with a tool like GiveCentral’s database software, GC Community. It’s a great way to track relationships and update donor information.
Start planning a matching campaign
Individual donors can be spurred to donate more when they know that a big donor is out there matching what they give. Start putting out feelers today by reaching some of your regular donors to see if their foundations or companies would be willing to match donations. It’s a great way to get everyone involved, no matter the size of their pocketbook.
Keep it personal
Just because you’re dealing with a big bank account doesn’t mean there’s not a human behind it. Be as personal as you would be with smaller donors. For example, if the big donor is an alumnus, remind them of nostalgic memories they had at your institution, or keep them updated on what your community is currently doing so that they feel personally connected to your work—and thus more interested in getting involved.
Keep them updated
No donor wants to feel like their donation vanished into the ether, but updates are especially important when it comes to large donations. Be crystal-clear about where your donor’s funds are going, and send them regular updates about what you’re doing with the funds. Which leads us to our next point—
Or cookies, or a nice card, or even just a grateful email. A thank-you gesture is very important when it comes to maintaining your relationship with your larger donors. Make them feel seen and appreciated, and theirs will be a relationship you can rely on for years to come.