Daniel McDiarmid on the five things you need to know to get your major gift fundraising right.

Sometimes an individual puts a new phrase into the fundraising lexicon and it just makes sense. Bill McGoldrick gave us ‘fundraising is a contact sport’ and it was quickly adopted. My colleague at AskRIGHT, Jeff Buchanan, often says to his clients, “Go and have an adult conversation with your donor” and he is right. Asking someone to give a substantial sum to your nonprofit organisation should be an adult conversation between one or more people speaking on behalf of the cause and the person, couple, or board who can make the decision to provide financial support. Donors want respectful adult conversations where the fundraisers not only give respect but expect it for themselves.

Securing major gifts is done in a managed way, usually by asking for a specific amount for a specific aspect of the organisation's work. An honest relationship, properly cultivated over time and involving the…

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