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The Sweet Spot: Asking for Major Gifts and Getting Them with Roberta A. Healey.

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Presentation on theme: "The Sweet Spot: Asking for Major Gifts and Getting Them with Roberta A. Healey."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Sweet Spot: Asking for Major Gifts and Getting Them with Roberta A. Healey

3 Roberta A. Healey  30+ years -- non-profit management and development  Senior Member, Farr Healey Consulting, LLC  Chief Development Officer -- faith-based organizations  Board President -- Association of Fundraising Professionals  Founding Member of American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging  Adjunct Faculty at Villanova University

4 TONIGHT’S GOALS To learn:  Where Major Gifts fit in the overall context of philanthropy  Why donors -- of several distinct types -- decide to offer their welcome support  How to customize cultivation for the individual donor  How to make the “ask”  How to follow up -- whether the initial response is “yes” or “no”

5 Roberta A. Healey Annual Giving Any organized effort by a gift-supported organization to obtain gifts on a yearly basis, usually to support operations. Individuals Organizations

6 Roberta A. Healey Major/Capital Giving Funds provided for buildings, including construction and equipment, endowment and scholarship. Individuals Organizations

7 Roberta A. Healey Planned Giving The integration of sound personal, financial and estate planning concepts with the individual donor's plans for lifetime testamentary giving. Individuals

8 Pyramid of Giving Annual Gifts Large number of donors gifts usually smaller Planned Gifts Few donors, large gifts Original Pyramid of Giving – James M. Greenfield CFRE Major Gifts Smaller number of donors, larger gifts Roberta A. Healey

9 Identifying Individual Prospect and Donor Characteristics Understanding Motivation

10 Roberta A. Healey External Environment: US Societal Transformations  Longevity and Technology are redefining community. Economic Instability Increasing Cynicism Bonds of Community Decreasing

11 Roberta A. Healey Adult Generations in the US: Booster Mature  Feel they have earned the rewards of life by hard work and careful planning Work is an unavoidable obligation Look on the futures a rainy day to work for … patient abut the time it takes to achieve results Education is a dream not a birthright Tends to trust large traditional institutions  Security – Safety – Stability  “We”  “No Sweat”

12 Roberta A. Healey Adult Generations in the US: Boomer Midlife  Feel entitled to the rewards of life because they have earned them Work is an exciting adventure Orientation to the present not the future. Looks for tangible immediate outcomes Education is a birthright Limited trust in large traditional institutions  Identity – Personal Growth – Meaning – Materialism  “Me”  “No Problem”

13 Roberta A. Healey Adult Generations in the US: Buster Young Adult  Defining idea is diversity … style is entrepreneurial Feel entitled to rewards because they are needed Work is a difficult challenge … education is way to get where you are going. Future is uncertain but manageable Large institutions are suspect and traditions questionable  Identity – Relationships – Community  “Us”  “No Fear”

14 Roberta A. Healey Seven Faces of Philanthropy Jossey Bass, 1994: Russ Alan Prince and Karen Maru File Communitarians 26% Devouts21% Investor15% Socialite11% Repayers10% Altruist9% Dynasts8%

15 Roberta A. Healey Fitting it all together …

16 Roberta A. Healey Prospect/Donor Characteristics  Younger Prospect/Donor Specific goals and definite ideas More likely to remain engaged with project Want to have an impact, support their societal priorities Augment estate, meet tax planning goals Seek leverage – require feedback

17 Roberta A. Healey Cultivation Considerations  Younger Prospect/Donor Straightforward approach Explain financial benefits to donor Emphasize investment strategies and stewardship of gifts Show how gift can help the family establish its legacy

18 Roberta A. Healey Prospect/Donor Characteristics  Older Prospect/Donor Mission oriented Loyal to charities that have been helpful to their families Want to do the right thing…support the less fortunate and betterment of others Seek security and immediate income benefits Focus on economic benefits

19 Roberta A. Healey Cultivation Considerations  Older Prospect/Donor Softer approach Explain financial benefits and contribution to the future stability of charity. Reinforce pride in doing something good. Show how to endow annual support through a planned gift.

20 Roberta A. Healey Customize the Cultivation Conversation and the Gift Opportunity  Booster  Boomer  Buster  Features  Benefits  Recognition

21 Roberta A. Healey Making the Ask and Getting to Yes

22 Roberta A. Healey The Big Moment – The Ask  “We would like you to consider.”  “We only ask this of our top donors.”  “This gift is the cornerstone of the students’ (patient’s, client’s) future.”  We think you share the vision.”  “We don’t take this kind of request lightly – but think you feel as passionately about this as we do.”  “Your leadership investment will open doors and pave the way for others to follow in your example of generosity.

23 Roberta A. Healey Short and sweet then say... NOTHING! Give them time!

24 Roberta A. Healey To a fundraiser – “No” …. doesn’t mean “No” “No” … means -- “Not Yet”

25 Roberta A. Healey Turning … Stumbling Blocks Into … Building Blocks

26 Roberta A. Healey Case # 1 That’s too much money you’re asking for.

27 Roberta A. Healey Case # 1  We only ask this of our top donors.  I hope you take that as a compliment. Our intent was to make sure you were among the first donors given an opportunity to take a significant leadership role in this project.  I hope you agree a gift like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It will literally transform the lives of many families for generations to come.  You are but one of the very few people we can turn to and ask for this very important gift.

28 Roberta A. Healey Case # 2 I’m not interested in supporting the ______.

29 Roberta A. Healey Case # 2  We have been talking about this for a while and from our previous conversations I thought you were interested. Please share with me where your main interest is today.  As you know, we are working on several major program and physical improvements. Please tell me which one is your priority interest today.  As you know, you and your family are very important donors. We always want to hear your ideas and input. Please tell me what programs you have the greatest interest in supporting?  I am very grateful for your honesty. Can we talk for a few minutes about the project you are most interested in?

30 Roberta A. Healey Case # 3 You flatter me, but I’m not as wealthy as Warren Buffett or Bill Gates.

31 Roberta A. Healey Case # 3  We understand it is a very large amount – and you are one of the few benefactors we could ask to consider a leadership gift of this size.  Is it the size of the gift or the fact that we asked you now that seems most troubling?  I think you know your investment in this project will pave the way for others to follow your leadership and generosity.  I can only imagine the demands on your financial resources. I believed from our earlier conversations that you planned to take a significant role in making this project a reality.

32 Roberta A. Healey Case # 4 I can’t give you an answer now.

33 Roberta A. Healey Case # 4  We recognize that this is an important decision and we certainly want you to take the time you need to consider this gift opportunity. What can we provide to help you consider your decision?  Knowing you need time to discuss this with ________ (whomever is significant in the decision), I hope you will tell me your personal feelings and reactions about the gift idea we just discussed.  I know you need to consider this together. What questions do you have today that would help you get started thinking about this?  I know you will spend a lot of time discussing this as you make your decision. We hope you will keep in mind the joy your gift will bring to all those people you have had such an interest in for such a long time.

34 Roberta A. Healey Stewardship Checklist When the Answer is Yes  Reconfirm the importance of the gift  Set date for next meeting/gift receipts  Discuss recognition and publicity: internal & external  Schedule donor visit to your organization  Contact reports  Several thank yous: leadership, volunteers, awardees  Call periodically to “ check in ”  Send articles about the gift  Invitations to events  Annual Reports  Cards: birthday, anniversary, etc.  Send progress updates – emphasize the importance of the gift.

35 Roberta A. Healey Success!  Gifts meet your donor’s needs and goals  Gifts meet your needs and goals  Everyone, especially you, is well pleased!

36 Roberta A. Healey Thank You   610-996-4650

37 STILL TO COME: More Opportunities in this year’s Governance Matters Series 1 more webinar: 2/10 -- Train Your Trustees: Short Fundraising Exercises for Board Meetings Irene McHenry and David Tomlin 3 Regional workshops 2/7 -- Friends School, Mullica Hill 4/4 -- Mary McDowell Center for Learning 4/18 -- San Francisco Friends School Audio/video recordings at

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