Major donors have changed their giving habits dramatically over the last decade. In the past, you could ask for money with a basic appeal to your church members, and they would simply support it.
Now, we have to work harder and smarter to create a successful stewardship campaign. The good news is that there are things you can do to create strong relationships with the major donors in your church.
1. Donors are less trusting.
Trust is more important than ever. With many stories about the mismanagement of fundraising dollars, donors are more wary about giving away their hard-earned money. It's important to establish a relationship with your major donors. If they know you, they are more likely to trust you and invest in you.
2. Boomers are the biggest group of donors.
Baby Boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, represent 43% of total philanthropic giving by generations with 51 million donors. Boomers also own most of the wealth. They want to express their passion and individuality, and be involved in your stewardship program. Let the Boomers in your congregation express their interests and connect to what is most meaningful to them.
3. Mature women are the major spenders.
Women are by far more generous than men. Women are more likely to give to charity and are more likely to give more. In fact, a recent study found that women give more than twice as much money as men. Remember to include the ladies in your church and talk to them directly about your stewardship campaign.
4. Donors who volunteer give more.
Many high net-worth donors volunteer - and they take it very seriously. Be sure to give your major donors the opportunity to participate in volunteer opportunities.
5. Major donors want to be sold.
Donors don't want to hear about how wonderful you are. Try listening to your donors first. And then talk to them about what they think, what they believe, and what they would like to support. Position everything in your stewardship campaign in the donor's perspective.
6. Big donors want to know about ROI.
Show your donors the numbers. When you discuss your financials with members, they have the opportunity to understand where the money goes and how much the campaign really costs. Having this conversation creates more trust and credibility. Be transparent when you measure and share your results.
7. Major donors like social media.
Many major donors want to connect with you on social media. If a major donor wants to friend you, you better do it! It goes back to getting to know your donors personally and creating a rapport.
8. Major donors want to be "wowed."
We are all hopelessly busy and bombarded with marketing and media messages. Major donors are definitely being pulled in all different directions. How do you reach a bored donor? Make it interesting and personalized to your donors. Add some surprise and fun to your capital campaign approach.
Show your major donors that you value them and that their gifts matter. They will be happy to help support your stewardship needs.