Institute for Charitable Giving

blue rule

The Hymn of Major Gifts

blue rule

This Is Important. Please Note. You’ve heard me preach about the importance of major gifts. It’s the Hymn I sing.

When the firm began, we found that 80% of the money raised in a successful Capital Campaign came from 20% of the donors. The 80-20 rule has stood the test of time. You still hear it referred to.

Well . . . it’s no longer true! About 8 or 9 years ago, we began noticing that it was becoming closer to 90% of the money came from 10% of the donors.

Today, it’s even more skewed. We’re finding that 95 to 96% of the money comes from 2 to 3% of the donors.

Case in Point, the University of Evansville just completed a very successful over-goal campaign. They raised $83 million from 12,809 donors.

Note this: $40,584,022 came from their top 13 donors– just half of what was raised came from only 13 donors. And 98.7% came from a little over 8% of their donors.

Here’s your strategy. You want to seek as broad a base as possible. This is how you build your support structure for the future. From this group will bubble-up your large gifts in the next campaign.

But keep a riveting focus on your major gifts. If you don’t, your campaign is flawed and doomed to failure.

Begin singing my Hymn with me!

I recently heard from John Locke at Mission Healthcare Foundation in Asheville, North Carolina. He wrote: “We just wrapped up a two-year, $15 million capital campaign for a new cancer center. We had over 400 gifts plus 1600 participants in our employee campaign. Our top 18 gifts amounted for almost $12 million of the $15 million raised.”

I told you so!


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