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How To Figure Out What Gift Levels to Ask For

One of the keys to successful fundraising is to ask people to give gifts at different levels. This goes against our gut-assumption that we can just ask everyone for the same amount. We’ve been studying this in detail since World War II. We know that 80% of the money comes from 20% of the donors; and increasingly it’s 90% of the money coming from 10% of the donors.

We need to ask for big gifts.

Successfully reaching a $1 million goal is not reached by finding 1,000 people to give $1,000. We know that the first gift needs to be 10%-25% of the total goal. And the next gift needs to be 7%-15%.

To figure out the right levels for your goal, use a gift range calculator. These take your goal, and break them down to the right levels. They even tell you how many prospects you need for each gift level.

Don’t let these discourage you. They’re intended to provide structure and strategy. There are no “cookie cutter” campaigns. But creating your strategy based on one of the two calculators below will help give you a road map. (And a powerful solicitation tool. You can use this to a prospect when soliciting. It shows them they’re not asking to pay for the entire project!)


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