Big ideas for raising big bucks…

: Amy Sweeting

Amy Sweeting, Head of Major Gifts at Missing People takes us through 3 questions that we hear over and again when it comes to major donor fundraising. But how can we answer them?

It’s a boom time for UK philanthropy, driven by new and repeat million pound donors. What a time to be a major donor fundraiser!

But it isn’t always easy when you’re dealing with some of the world’s richest and most influential people. They have expectations and we need to make sure we deliver them. We need to know who to approach and how to approach them so that we can keep up with one of the fastest growing elements of fundraising activity.

Below are three main questions that we hear over and over again – and exactly how the leaders in philanthropy from across the sector and beyond will be ready to answer them at Fundraising Convention. 

How do you find prospective donors and get them engaged?

Donors, donors, everywhere!

It can so often feel that Major Donor Fundraising is London focused, but what about charities and donors based elsewhere? ‘Tribes’ and Tribulations, a session on the major donor fundraising in the regions, will teach you the experiences of one experienced fundraiser who had to completely change the way she fundraised when she left the city.

With diversity being such a key topic, we need to adapt our approach when building relationships with different communities. Fundraising from the Islamic Community, This session will cover the charitable nature of the Islamic community and how non-Muslim charitable organisations can work with them.

Outside of the UK, charities are securing more and more support from across borders. Hear from experts sharing their experiences from both a donor and an organisation perspective on how to raise money from other countries.

Thinking outside of the box, donor-advised funds are a great way for major donors to support charities and have become increasingly popular. This session with CAF will tell you about the opportunity to engage with donors in this way and how to approach fund management as a vehicle for giving.

So you’ve found some prospects and got your ducks in a row, but what are you offering them? Major Donor Giving Clubs and Launching a Middle Donor Programme will help you answer the question of whether a giving club is the right step for you and how you can use them to engage prospective donors.

Or maybe your organisation is ready for a big campaign, which can be a great way to get donors involved. Dames, planes and Automobiles will guide you on how to make the most of your campaign.


What do I do once I’ve got a meeting? 

Relationships are formed through conversations. But quite often our conversations end up boring and fruitless. So, do as this session suggests and Stop the Endless Chit Chat and have Donor Convensations that Work and Story Power to get some techniques on how to use stories to aid your conversations with donors and increase your high-value income.

If you want your donors to walk away from a meeting impressed, this practical session on mastering the Major Donor meeting will tell you everything you need to know.

Hurrah – you’ve smashed the meeting and received a cheque, but keeping donors can be even trickier. We want donors to give again and again and In it for the Long Term will give you the skills to keep your donors engaged.

And if all of that isn’t enough, hear about all of the above directly from one of the UK’s largest philanthropists in this 'in conversation' session.


What else do I need to know?

There’s a few other things we need to consider in major donor fundraising. Firstly, the dreaded subject of ethics and how we adhere to best practices. But fear not, this fun session, Ethics Jeopardy will help you to learn and put in to practice the best professional standards.

Secondly, as fundraisers we need to work closely with our service delivery teams to support with conversations, asks, proposals and reporting. This session will talk about how to bridge the all too common gap between fundraising and service delivery.

Lastly, the struggle of attracting and retaining good relationship fundraisers is increasing and so many of us are spending too much time recruiting. This session asks why this is the case and how we can tackle it. 

I always leave Convention with a notebook full of ideas, a mind full of determination and, most importantly, a heart full of passion for the incredible work we are all doing every day. I know that you will too...


Amy SweetingFundraising Convention Board member and Head of Major Gifts, Missing People 

Explore the full Fundraising Convention programme

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