10 Major Gift Solicitation Tips

1.     Know the story.  Make sure you have read all of the materials and are fully informed.  Let someone know if you need additional information.2.     Make your own gift.  You will not be successful if you cannot point to your own generous support.


3.     Think about and plan for the prospective donor conversation.  Write down your notes, talk through with your strategic team what the conversation might need to make your strongest appeal.


4.     See  your best prospects first.  That way your chances of success will be increased and help to spur you on!


5.     Take someone with you.  It’s always best if you have someone who can”open the door” and start the conversation while you listen, observe and look for an opportunity to build the bridge that enables the prospects interest to match up with your organization’s greatest need.


6.     Always ask for a major gift in person, face-to-face.  Use a telephone only to schedule an appointment and use a letter only to thank them.  Meet somewhere that you can talk –  home, office or a quiet restaurant that you choose.


7.     Relate you ownexperience with the organization.  Your story and your commitment will have meaning.


8.     Make sure you’ve done your research. Know what the prospect can potentially give if all of the obstacles fall by the way side.  They’ll have them – obstacles.  Your job is to find out what they are in your conversation and help to resolved (delay the start of the pledge period,utilize appreciated stock etc.)


9.     Always stay positive. Work to resolve any issues they have.  Their gift may not come now but you have opened the door to good communication that likely will eventually payoff.


10.  Confirm the pledge.  Take a pledge form with you and when you closed the deal, confirm with a signed pledge form, setting out the terms.

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