Finding Big Money Political Donors

We offer six ideas to help you do just that. Let’s begin!

Fundraising is a highly competitive space. We all know the struggle of researching donors, writing appeals, and getting a steady stream for your campaign can be a challenge. 

And when you are trying to get that “white whale” donor that might fund your project for up to a year, stress mounts. These big donors can make or break your organization. Donations over $250 are essential for completing campaigns successfully. Because it can be so difficult to find, win, and keep large donors, this article will give you ideas for getting larger donations.


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Make Personal Connections

Written, electronic correspondences are a vital part of the fundraising industry. Nonprofit fundraising teams are constantly communicating with big donors for their campaigns. It’s arguably one of the largest aspects of any fundraising job. But having a sit-down chat over coffee or a nice meal goes even further in securing that major donation. Making that human connection goes a long way towards gaining and keeping a big donor. Emails, teleconferencing, and other channels can feel cold and impersonal. A real human presence makes impact feel more real. Another useful alternative to email is something that is increasingly rare, but incredibly useful: words written on a piece of paper.

Use Snail Mail

In the Digital Age, it might seem counterintuitive to use old-fashioned communications like letters. But a thoughtful letter written on quality stationary will make your nonprofit stand out for that reason. Your potential large donors probably receive thousands of emails every day. The old school touch of sending a paper appeal with accompanying pictures, information, and testimonials can draw attention where electronic communication might go unnoticed. A communication package also aquaints your potential donor with your nonprofit’s work ahead of time, doing some of the heavy lifting for your team before the in-person meeting we just discussed. This makes your job that much easier when you make that first handshake. And making those donors feel important is another tip we offer for your next campaign.

Reward Your Big Donors

Donor recognition is an under-appreciated facet of fundraising. If a large donor feels as though their contribution goes unappreciated, don't expect them to stick around long. Creating a major donor society, publicly celebrating your large donors on social media, and personalizing your thank-you communications can boost donor engagement. And those communications should make the difference you make very clear.


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Show, Don’t Tell

One of the major rules of writing also applies to large donor fundraising. Simply saying how impactful your organization is one thing. Clearly illustrating the positive good your group has done for your community is quite another. And the latter will hold more weight for your large donor, because they can actually witness the impact your nonprofit has had rather than trusting your words. And when your big donor makes that personal connection to your work, they feel as though they are a part of something bigger. Large donors like to be recognized for their contribution. That’s why this next tip is also a great tool to add to your fundraising campaign repertoire.

Leverage Connections

In large donor fundraising, as in everything, it's who you know rather than what. And if you have a group of wealthy, well-connected donors, there's a good chance that they have a network of suppliers, clients, and other organizations that can be your next leads. Next time you have an in-person meeting with a big donor, be sure to (politely) broach the idea of talking to their peers. On top of that, make it easier for both your old and new donors to give.

Make it Easier to Give

There are dozens of different ways people send and receive money today. Apps like PayPal, CashApp, and Venmo are all becoming bigger parts of people’s lives. So why would you only have one method for your donors to give generously? Getting rid of barriers to entry for your donors gives them even more incentive to contribute. By offering different options for giving, including matching donations from corporations, or even letting your large donors match smaller donors, you keep the process engaging and stand out from other nonprofits.

Summing Up

These six methods for increasing large donor engagement will help you find, close, and keep those big donors that your nonprofit needs to thrive. By using these strategies, you and your colleagues can generate dependable, sustaining donor connections. Large donors are the lifeblood of any successful nonprofit or political campaign, and we’re glad that we could give you these helpful tips for keeping up with the challenges of big donor fundraising. If you would like more fundraising tools, check out NationBuilder. They’ve got a course on digital fundraising and other fantastic tools for nonprofits and campaigns. Try NationBuilder today!

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