For better results, answer these questions/concerns before your major donor meeting. These are actual statements from visits with Major Donors.
- If we give this $4 million dollar gift, will we be violating Luke 14 by helping your organization start something it could not finish?
- How would you immediately use a gift of $1 million dollars . . . how would you utilize a gift of $5 million?
- Why did you share a gift of $25,000 last year and this year your gift is $1 million? Last year you did not need a gift of a million, but you obviously do this year with your building project.
- Who are members of your governing board . . . are they leaders in our community and do the have the resources (human-dollar) to pull off this project?
- Who else are you asking to participate in this project at this level and do you believe they will assist you in this effort?
- Mr. President, is this your mission statement . . . are you getting it done in the lives of your students. . . it is not just about the inculcation of facts . . . here is my question . . . how many of your students are delinquent in repaying their federally funded loans to the government?
- Is your organization well managed and does an environment of wise stewardship of existing resources already exist . . . . could I get a copy of your last audited financial statement?
- Will my gift help you serve more people or serve your current group more effectively?
- What would or could happen if we do not give this gift?
- Is this project the most strategic way for your organization to do business?
- Do you have any hope of making it without my/our gift?
- How will you sustain your annual/operational needs over the next few years?
- Are you sure you have negotiated the best price for the purchase of this building/land?
- Have your board/key staff members participated in this project (percentage of response and how many dollars did they share for this effort)?
- How much money did you receive from major donors last year?
- Can my gift be made anonymous . . . who else will know about my gift amount?
- How will my gift be used if you do not reach your campaign goal and the project does not move forward?
- You have asked for my gift to be given in this area . . . however, can I designate my gift in another area of your ministry?
- I am not sure I have total confidence in your leadership team . . . can you assure me this project will become a reality in the time line you have described?
- Are there naming opportunities in this project . . . can our family name appear on the building/project you are asking us to consider?
Patrick McLaughlin, president and founder of the Timothy Group, is a specialist in relational fundraising, including major donor contacts, events, and capital campaigns.