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Inheriting a major donor who has been helping an organization since the beginning of time is a huge blessing, but major donors have to come from somewhere.

That means getting started on developing those prospects, and the time to start is now.

Speaking at the 2015 National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC) Conference and Exposition, Viken Mikaelian, of offered a strategic plan for getting started on enlisting major donors.

* Identify prospects and partners. Select the top 10 to 25 prospects and identify natural partners. Identify a potential primary player for each prospect.

* Research and begin a file. Gather information about the prospect from public information, natural partners and listening to the prospect.

* Plan moves. Develop a strategy and gift objective. Plan the next five to 10 moves for each prospect.

* Implement the moves. These can include such things as consciousness penetration, phone calls, letters and personal visits.

* Record and report. See what has been learned from each move. Each move must have an objective. After the move is made the reaction must be evaluated against the objective.

* Refine the strategy. Fine-tune the plan for the next move.

* Review. If necessary, modify the prospect list.

* Repeat.

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