With budgets tightening at universities, it is more important than ever that major gift officers maximize their solicitations. This means if a donor wants to a make a certain size gift – how can the fundraiser get them to a higher level of giving? Here we present several strategies to get bigger gifts from your donor base:

Multi-Year Pledges: If a donors wants to make a $20,000 gift, ask them to make it over 5 years so it books now as a $100,000 gift.

Corporate Matches: Check with the donor about a corporate matching gift program that could double their gift.

Better Naming Opportunity: If a donor wants to name a space in a building, manuever them towards a better space that has more exposure.

Endowing Annual Fund Gift: For donors that make an annual gift, ask them to make a donation to endow that annual gift.

Blended Gift: For donors that make an annual gift, ask them to add on a bequest intention.

Group Effort: If there is a group of prospects that wants to rally around an area of support, several smaller gifts could add up to a major gift.

Donor Advised Fund: Prospects who give through a donor advised fund (DAF) are likely giving to other organizations through that same fund. Try to build an unbelievable relationship with that donor so they eventually give a majority of their DAF to your university.

Tribute Gift: If a donor had a mentor or significant influence at your university, that could be a strong motivator to get the donor to set up an endowed fund in his/her mentor’s honor.

Gift of Appreciated Stock: Gifts of stock allow donors to make a larger gift that does not dig into their cash assets. Plus it provides a charitable tax deduction and capital gain tax avoidance.

Push from Leadership: Get the president or other leadership from your university involved with the ask to help push the donor to make a bigger gift.

Focus on the Impact: Focus the conversation on the gift’s impact and how the larger amount will accomplish the goals of that area of interest.

Overall, it is imperative that major gift officers strategically maneuver their donors towards larger gift options. This does not mean that the fundraisers need to be aggressive in their process. It means getting creative and showing the donor how they can have the biggest impact on the area they are passionate about.

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