The path to a major gift can be a long process that spans multiple years. During this time, numerous activities are taking place to engage a prospect towards a specific project or area of interest. These engagement activities must be done strategically to ensure a prospect gives at their highest gift potential. One of the most effective ways to learn the proper fundraising process, is to hear the start to finish stories of how a gift came to fruition. Below are fictional case studies that take you through each of the high level engagements that lead to a gift.
The Disgruntled Alum
Unengaged alumnus Matt Kendrick makes a $50,000 gift for a matching gift challenge. Key takeaways include (1) Quick/thorough follow-up helps establish relationships (2) Use faculty to deepen a prospect relationship (3) Challenge gifts make the ask more appealing.
Alumnus Trevor Reedman makes a $250,000 endowed gift in support of the Computer Science Club at Mumford University. Key takeaways include (1) Qualifying prospects at events (2) Using targeted and tiered engagement practices (3) Utilizing leadership to help close gifts.
Mumford alumnae Janet Schroeder makes a $100,000 scholarship gift. Key takeaways include (1) Getting prospect leads from other alumni (2) Show the impact of the gift in the ask (3) Closing a gift by using a special announcement.
Robert McGuigan makes a $250,000 gift towards a leadership program at Mumford University. Key takeaways include (1) Using nostalgia to get the prospects attention (2) Describe the stewardship in your solicitation (3) Closing a gift by using a deadline.
The Engaged Parents
Mumford current parents Jill and Dale Fulton make a major gift in support of the Academic Success Center. Key takeaways include (1) Prospect identified from faculty and staff (2) Stewardship by meeting the students impacted (3) Closing a gift by using leadership.
Alumnus Michael Hayden makes a $500,000 gift to name the new capstone project space at Mumford. Key takeaways include (1) Have prospects meet the students impacted by their giving (2) Show a picture of the naming opportunity (3) Closing a gift by using a campaign milestone.