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BlogConverting Annual Donors to Major Gift Contributors

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Annual donor meeting with organization

Converting Annual Donors to Major Gift Contributors

The last quarter of the calendar year signals a busy time for most nonprofits’ annual campaigns. In fact, Double the Donation reports that 30% of nonprofits’ annual giving occurs in the month of December with 10% occurring the last three days of the year.

Annual donors are essential for maintaining your organization’s yearly operations, but what happens when you have additional needs that arise that require greater support? How are you cultivating your annual donors to make a greater impact on your organization?

Often you may be able to identify if an annual donor is ready to become a major gift donor by analyzing your data. Here are some indicators that annual donors may be ready to support your organization in a greater way.

  • Annual donor meeting with organizationConsistent donors. Do you have donors that support your organization multiple times throughout the year? Do they respond to almost every appeal you send and attend all of your programs and events? If donors are supporting your organization in multiple ways, they may have the desire to support your organization at a greater level toward a project or program of their interest.
  • Long-term supporters. Do you have donors who have given since your organization’s inception or annually for many years in a row or even decades? Do you have donors that are part of your monthly giving program? If so, these donors are invested and believe in your cause. Their total giving perhaps already exceeds your major gift level of support. These are also donors who may have an interest in making a planned or legacy gift to your organization if they have not done so already.
  • Non-cash contributors. Do you have donors making their annual contribution through an IRA distribution or gift of stock? Donors choosing to give to your organization through these methods understand the tax benefits of giving via these assets without spending their cash on hand. These types of gifts also tend to result in a larger gift for an organization than a cash gift.

Need help building a major gift program in your organization? AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising can assist in conducting a development office audit or creating a moves management strategy for your prospect donor base. Contact Jennifer Rubel, director of fundraising, at or 319-268-9151, to learn more.

Written by:

Melissa provides fundraising counsel for AMPERAGE’s nonprofit clients, leading feasibility studies and providing solutions that drive successful fundraising campaign results. A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), she uses her experience and extensive skill set to continually advance her fundraising practices and develop campaign-specific strategies, materials and training to help clients reach their campaign goals and advance their mission. Melissa has vast experience working in the nonprofit sector, having served in development and leadership roles with Sisters of Mercy and the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition, she has served as a volunteer and board member with local nonprofits, such as the Catherine McAuley Center. Faith-based organizations and causes are of particular interest to Melissa. Melissa moves the needle by always looking for new opportunities and ways to improve professionally. She is currently president of the Eastern Iowa Planned Giving Council and a past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Eastern Iowa Chapter. Melissa holds a Master of Strategic Leadership degree from Mount Mercy University. This busy professional, wife and mother enjoys sports and live music in her free time. A fan of Cubs baseball and Iowa Hawkeye football, Melissa and family enjoy football tailgating, where she’s known for her breakfast burritos. She enjoys the local band scene but says a Foo Fighters concert is her all-time favorite.