This blog will help you win loyal friends for your nonprofit organization. I'm Dennis Fischman, and I approved this message.

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How Do You Attract Big Gifts from the Affluent? – Part II

A guest post from Tripp Braden, of Developing Serving Leaders.   You can read the previous installment at How Do You Attract Big Gifts from the Affluent? – Part I.

Ask for Feedback on New Programs

Tripp Braden

Tripp Braden

The second opportunity to connect with more affluent givers is to become better at sharing new opportunities as they develop.

Successful entrepreneurs are good at identifying and implementing new opportunities faster than their competitors. If you share an opportunity in the early phases, this wealthy individual can help you crystallize your thinking on this new opportunity.

If you can help them see the possibilities, they are more likely to provide financial support for them. I call this social innovation and I believe it’s the great equalizer in attracting the right people to your cause and organization. Most wealthy entrepreneurs are very good at understanding risk/reward as part of their everyday lives. If you can challenge their thinking, you are well on your way to building an extraordinary partnership with them.

If you want to get somebody more involved in what you’re working on, ask them if you could share an idea with them to get their feedback. Learn how to tell stories about where your organization is considering going and then ask them provocative questions to help them see the opportunity more clearly.

 Ask for the Gift of Networking

The third opportunity to connect with more affluent givers is to learn to see individuals as having many different resources they can bring to your organization.

I’ve found most of my millennial givers are not always able to provide the same level of funding as my baby boomers. What they do bring to the table is high energy and a larger network with others who can help your cause. If you remember that almost every wealthy person sees their network as a large part of their net worth, having the ability to mobilize these people can provide a positive impact on your organization.

On the other hand, we baby boomers are very willing to provide a wider range of gifts to your organization. When dealing with us, challenge us to find the right people in our community who would be interested in your cause–because we are involved. I can remember several times where I was able to identify the right person to provide a significant gift because of a relationship I had with them. You shouldn’t be afraid to have me or my peers make calls of introduction for you.

Today, I believe that most fundraisers are only one person away from the person who can help transform their organization forever. It is critical that you are able to engage your donors in a different way. I believe there are many ways to engage and empower people to help grow your organization.

I hope this gives you several ways to begin cultivating relationships and connecting with your larger donors. Good luck.

Hello, Email. Welcome!

I heard a knock at the door. “Oh, no,” I thought. “Who could that be?”

welcome visitor

Will they welcome your email?

I hadn’t ordered a pizza. I wasn’t expecting a package.

I went to the door and peered through the peephole, braced for someone trying to convert me to their religion (and/or sell me a magazine subscription).

What a pleasant surprise it was when my friend Miriam was there with a bundle of fresh-cut lilacs from her garden!


Is your email a welcome visitor?

You know how many emails you get every day. They can turn into one big blur. You might start reading them in order, but soon, you scan for names of friends and leave the rest of the messages unopened–or even delete them.

Your audience is just like you. They get overwhelmed just as fast. And the delete button is always handy!

If you want people to read your email, you have to be like Miriam.

  • Be a good friend. (Not that guy who only shows up to borrow money!)
  • Come bearing gifts. Present them with something they want: entertainment, information, a chance to see their friends and feel good about themselves at the same time…
  • Knock. Make sure the subject line of each email announces you in a way that makes your readers say, “I’m so glad you stopped by. Come in, come in!”

How Do You Attract Big Gifts from the Affluent? – Part I

A guest post from Tripp Braden, of Developing Serving Leaders

Tripp Braden

Tripp Braden

You don’t know me, but I help nonprofits attract larger gifts for their organizations.

Many of my clients and partners are some of the world’s most successful philanthropists. They give billions of dollars to nonprofits every year. Several are members of The Giving Pledge.
I expect even more to make significant gifts to nonprofits as they move from active business leadership towards their retirement and the second acts of their lives.

Here’s why most of the corporate leaders I know believe it’s important to reinvest in our society.

Why the Biggest Givers Give

One part of my business practice helps my clients deal with creating a lasting leadership legacy that continues for generations. I challenge my best clients to make a difference in the world; it doesn’t end when they retire. I have also given gifts that have exceeded six figures. These gifts helped organizations get significant additional gifts that exceeded eight figures.

Dennis asked me to share what I know about the world’s most dedicated givers. I hope to help you better understand what my affluent clients might look for when they invest their money in your nonprofit.

Excite Them about Your Mission

Let me give you three ideas that can help you get more money and engagement from men and women who can make a gift that changes your organization forever.

The first opportunity to connect with more affluent givers starts with your mission. Most nonprofits struggle when it comes to defining their mission. Let me rephrase that: most nonprofits are very active in being all things to all people. They think what big donors are looking for are big numbers. They believe the bigger the numbers, the greater the chance they will find the big gift.

My experience is the clearer you are on your mission and how you plan to help your community, the better you are positioned to find the right people to support your organization.

Your mission cannot only be on the plaque in your offices. It must be understood and shared with every person who works in your organization.

The Mission Driven Donor

Most successful entrepreneurs are mission driven. If you want to better understand how they see the world, ask them what their mission was when they started their own organization. I’ve never met a successful entrepreneur who didn’t see a business in their mind before they started their organization.

To get people to understand your mission, you must help them connect the dots between their gift and your mission. It is critical that you appeal to the best parts of who they are when nurturing a relationship with a larger contributor.

Most entrepreneurs have strongly held ideas on almost everything. To me, this means you must be willing to stand up and share what you believe. They will be attracted to both your passion and your purpose.

What if they don’t agree on your position? Be willing to advocate it, but also listen to why they feel the way they do. It gives you clues on who they are and how they may be able to help your culture grow to the next level.

I’ll give you the other two ideas on how to connect with more affluent givers in my next post, on Thursday. See you then.