Major Gifts Solicitation

Converting Interest and Involvement to Investment

The moment will arrive when it is most advantageous to solicit a major gift. The success of the entire development process depends on your ability to recognize that moment and direct staff and volunteers to act upon it wisely.

The “Four Ws” of Major Gift Solicitation

  • Who should ask whom?
    The short answer is deceptively simple: “the person(s) who can best deliver the maximum gift.” The actual results will vary greatly depending on the relationship between the solicitor and the prospect.
  •  . . . for What amount?
    Great care should be taken in presenting the amount to be requested from each prospect, and may be determined based on their ability to give, their current and past involvement, and their relationship to the solicitor.
  •  . . . When?
    The best time to ask for a major gift is when the prospect is ready to give, regardless of the campaign timetable or the director’s calendar.
  • Why should the prospect give?
    When an organization listens carefully and responds thoughtfully, the prospect will realize that a major gift is actually an investment in his or her own philanthropic objectives.

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For more on Major Gifts, Developing Strategies for Success, access Goettler Series Volume 9