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Nonprofit Donor Strategies

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Nonprofits can create opportunities for connecting with donors in significant ways, which can become progressively more individualized and involved over time.

Here are some examples:

  • Annual funds – The donor audience is segmented so there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to cultivation, solicitation, recognition, and stewardship.
  • Membership – The value of the membership is less than the amount an individual is willing to pay for the intangible mission-related support of the organization.
  • Special events – Make them fit with your mission and only view them as one step in the development process, not a means to an end.
  • Major donor programs – This is for organizations with existing donors and infrastructure.
  • Planned giving, living trusts, and other legacy gifts – Relationships are built with individuals who have supported the nonprofit for ten or more years.
  • Endowments – A source for long-term financial stability through major and planned gifts.


[edit] Author

The author of this article is Dennis McMillian.

Dennis McMillian is President and CEO of the Foraker Group.

Dennis has devoted his professional career to helping nonprofit organizations better meet the needs of their communities. For 21 years he served as a development officer, and then as a CEO with United Way in numerous communities around the country. He came to Alaska in 1992 to lead the United Way of Anchorage. Since moving to Alaska, he has helped build the state’s philanthropic infrastructure through his work with United Ways across the state and through his support in developing the Alaska Community Foundation. He is a strong advocate for Alaska’s nonprofit sector.

In 2001, Dennis led the effort to start The Foraker Group with the mission of building sustainability and organizational capacity in Alaska nonprofits. During his career, he’s trained thousands of professionals and volunteers, spoken at numerous conferences and consulted across America, Canada, Asia and Russia. He serves on numerous national nonprofit committees and is a regular speaker at conferences including The Council on Foundations, Tides Foundation, Philanthropy Northwest, and the National Council of Nonprofits. He sits on the board of Nature Conservancy in Alaska, and on the national boards for Camp Fire, Inc., the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, and the National Council of Nonprofits.



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