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Musings, tips, and thoughts from the Organizer team

Article | Jan 11, 2017 8:00:00 AM

How to Build Better Relationships with Major Donors

Advocacy & Fundraising

Posted by Nina Foo



Fundraising is all about relationships. You’ll have donors of different dollar amounts as well as donor that like to give online or write a personal check. However, one thing all your donors have in common are that you have built a relationship with them.


 How to Build Better Relationships with Major Donors



It boils down to relationships are important to all donors. However, major donors need to have stronger connection, because they are contributing a large financial commitment. Let’s talk about keys to building strong relationships with your major donors.


  1. 1. Grab Their Attention

Still the best way to create a contact is being introduced personally. Using your personal network is still a great way to get introduced to a potential major donor. Meeting people in person, helps create a larger lasting impression. Also, holding an event that is not for fundraising purposes but rather a networking event. This creates the opportunity to get to know potential donors and connect employees and volunteers. It doesn’t matter which way you get a donor’s attention. The important part is that you get donors to focus on your non-profit.

  1. 2. Create your Relationship

Once you get a donor’s attention you maybe tempted to go straight to the ask but waiting pays off. You still need to build the relationship. Once you have their attention get them to become involved in your organization. Ask your potential donors to come to events, give their advice, volunteer, or work on committees. This will make them feel like a part of your team.



Read more. Try our blog, "Convincing Donors to Increase their Contribution to your Charity."


  1. 3. Tell them About the Power of Donating

Make sure that before you ask a donor to make a contribution that they understand the investment they could make. Most major donors feel that philanthropy donations are an investment in a better community.


By having a relationship with donors before asking them to donate you are able to understand what is most important parts of your program are to donors. By explaining the what their investment will mean for the organization people are able to make an informed decision.


  1. 4. Make an Emotional Connection

Believe it or not people still give primarily to non-profits based on their emotional connection to the organization. Using an emotionally compelling story that is mission-driven combined with the idea that it is a smart investment will help get more investments.



Make sure to tell donors stories. Even try inviting them to go to your program sites. Being able to create an emotional connection to your organization is key. If you can do that you are on a great path to establish prospect and long-term supporters for your cause.

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