In most development shops, major gift fundraising is still an intentionally low-tech practice. Face-to-face meetings are the goal, and conventional wisdom states that major donors don’t give online. But is that really the whole picture? While it’s true that you are not likely to ask for a $100,000 gift in an email, most adults in the U.S. spend almost six hours per day engaging with digital media and get most of their information digitally. Major donors are no different. It’s not enough to rely on your organization’s general digital communications strategy to reach your current and prospective major donors. The messages that are compelling for a $10 monthly member are not going to be effective with someone capable of making a sizeable contribution, and your communications department doesn’t know your donors as well as your fundraisers do. If you don’t have a smart major donor digital strategy you’re leaving valuable engagement opportunities on the table. And the right digital strategy can support your major gifts fundraisers at every step of the donor journey, allowing them to get out the door and have actual conversations with the people who make your work possible. Here are the big items you want to bear in mind as you start to carve out your ideas:
- Audience research: find out where your major donors are online and in your database. This will not only inform the digital channels you focus on, but also your voice and tone.
- Relationship building: use personalized approaches to content and outreach to cultivate a rapport with major donors online and save your fundraisers time.
- Pitch materials: craft materials and presentations that give major donors a more engaging experience and help them understand where their money is going.
- Saying thank-you: from videos to custom microsites to digital reports, there are a number of ways that digital can help your fundraisers make your major donors feel appreciated and engaged in your mission.