Ask Me Anything


How do I start to approach a major donor that knows nothing about us?

Ask Me Anything Summary

Hi for this week’s ask me anything I’ve been asked: how do I start to approach a major donor that knows nothing about us and how soon can I expect a gift? Well cultivation of a major donor, meaning someone who’s going to give you at least five figures or higher, takes some time.

The first thing that you want to do is get them engaged. The closer someone is to your inner circle, the more likely they are to write a bigger check, because they understand who you are and what you’re doing. So don’t be disappointed if the first check isn’t five figures. If it’s something like $500 or $1000, get your foot in the door, get to know each other.

It’s kind of like dating. You want to just to start show them that you’re gonna be good stewards of that money. Report back the impact that happened with the donation that they made. Make sure that you steward and cultivate that donor. Bring them out, show them the impact if you can, and continue that relationship.

Once you’ve convinced them that you will be a good investment, then you can go for the larger ask and they’ll be ready to trust you with that larger investment. If you have any questions about finding and cultivating major gifts, please contact us at sharity. That’s our area of expertise and we have lots of wonderful professionals who can walk you through exactly how to do that cultivation and segmentation with your donor base so that you can start to increase the amount of money that you’re bringing in from people, maybe who are already committed to your organization and your mission.