Here are the top three methods to identifying fundraising donors:

1. Look in Your Database
First, run a report to find your largest donors. That’s the obvious part. Be sure to query cumulative giving. In other words, do not simply pull records by individual gifts, because if you’re only looking for one time gifts of $1,000 or more, you might miss a donor who gives well over $1,000 each year, but in smaller increments throughout the year. Second, run a list of your most loyal donors –- measured in frequency of giving. This means donors who have given repeatedly over many years.

The big difference between these two lists is that it doesn’t matter how much loyal donors give –- it could be as little as $10 per year. Review these lists with your board or management staff and pull out your top twenty prospective donors, based on what you know about them in terms of their capacity to give in the future and their interest in your organization.

2. Use Existing Networks
If your organization does have any donor history to draw from, it’s time to bring your board and staff together for a brainstorming meeting. You are probably not ready for major gifts quite yet, but it’s time to contact friendly donors, which is a precursor to major gifts fundraising. Ask board and staff members to identify five people from their current networks who have some capacity to give (don’t think major gifts at this point). Start out by inviting them on a tour, to an event, or to volunteer.

3. Use the Internet
Once you’ve identified your top twenty prospects (through steps 1 and 2), turn to the Internet to learn a bit more about them. Between Google, LinkedIn and sites like Zillow and, you’ll be able to get a solid idea of your prospects’ net worth and personal and professional interests – all from public information, much of which they themselves have provided. Having this information on hand ahead of time will prevent you from asking at the wrong time. This research will also help you refine your list of top contacts.  It will also allow you to use your limited time where it has the benefit of being a success for your organization.

Major Gift Funding

Major gift fundraising is not easy, but it is simple.  If your organization hasn’t started a major gift program yet you’re leaving money on the table. We urge nonprofit organizations to get started soon; so call us today for advice and counsel!

Finally, here are some of the top reasons that Fundraising Donors provide as to why they give:

  1. Donors have a significant relationship with your organization.
  2. Donors have the resources to make a large gift.
  3. Generous donors agree that your fundraising project is worthwhile.
  4. Donors feel that their gift makes an important difference.
  5. Generous donors are asked to give by a peer.
  6. Donors feel their gifts are appreciated and adequately recognized.

In conclusion, a solid campaign strategy and its proper implementation will prove mutually beneficial to solicitor and generous donors alike.  Formulating plans for Fundraising activities will enable companies to meet and exceed their goals.


Identifying Fundraising Donors
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