Leadership giving: Transition annual-giving donors into major gifts
CCAeLearning webinar, February 15, 2018
Leadership giving is a donor category that can serve as a springboard from higher-level annual giving into major gifts. According to Jason Demers, any school size or type can benefit from a focus on leadership giving, designed to increase donor engagement, plus size / number of gifts, while building the capacity of fundraising staff.
What is leadership giving?
- Jason defines leadership giving (LG) as the upper end of annual gifts: $500 - $2,500, usually undesignated.
- How LG differs from major gifts (MG):
- Shorter timelines and fewer moves from LG prospect to gift than with MG.
- LG prospects show commitment to your school through consecutive years of annual giving and larger than average gifts.
- Some are lapsed MG donors who need re-engagement.
- Transitional or newly discovered prospects can be potential leadership givers.
Advantages of an LG program
- Give upper-end annual donors a more personalized experience.
- Identify a pool of potential MG donors while increasing annual giving totals.
- Increase donor retention.
- Provide staff with experiences that help them transition from AG into MG fundraising.
Define success for your LG program
- Increase average size of annual gifts.
- Increase AG retention rate (should be 75%+; highest retention level among annual donors).
- # of donors recategorized from AG into LG.
- # of upgrades from LG into MG over a given time period.
- Success rate = retention of LG donors, transition to MG donors + additional funds raised.
Steward your leadership donors
- Create a specific recognition group for LG donors to reward loyalty.
- Provide unique branding and benefits - ancillary services such as passes to the gym, campus theatre and sports events.
- Meet face to face with each LG donor at least once per year and express interest in their points of view.
- Thank them personally (hand-written cards).
- Organize an annual get-together that includes both LG and MG donors, and invite LG to MG events.
Watch the full webinar