9 Ways To Make Major Giving Happen Online

If you think that major donors rely solely on face-to-face interactions when making giving decisions, you may want to reconsider the idea. They often rely on the Internet to conduct research on charitable organizations, their programs and how well they are fulfilling their missions.

    In his article “Your Web Site — What Does It Say to Major Donors?” in Major Donors: Finding Big Gifts in Your Database and Online by editors Ted Hart, ACFRE, ePMT, James M. Greenfield, Pamela M. Gignac and Christopher Carnie (John Wiley & Sons Inc.), Howard Lake describes ways that charitable organizations of any size can attract and engage major donors via their websites:

  • Ask for large gifts. It stands to reason that if there is no ask or content targeted at major donors, there is little chance of securing major gifts online.
  • Ask for large gifts on the home page of your website.
  • At the same time, ask for large gifts elsewhere on your website, such as next to project reports and financial reports.
  • Don’t forget to include major-gift asks on online donation forms. This might be a prompted level of giving or simply a list of examples of how much particular donation levels can achieve.
  • Be sure to provide contact details for major-gift officers and/or senior staff whom prospects can call or arrange to meet to answer any questions and to discuss giving opportunities more fully.
  • Explain the need for major gifts. Convince wealthy prospects who otherwise might not have considered making a large gift.
  • Make sure there is dedicated information or even a designated page for major donors. This should illustrate the organization’s track record in partnering with major donors and meeting their needs, in addition to the current needs for major gifts. Include contributions from satisfied major donors.
  • Donor recognition is also important, so list detailed information on different ways in which major gifts can be acknowledged and recognized, both online and offline.
  • If you have permission, list major gifts that the organization has already received.