Advice to Attract Million Dollar Donors According to Nonprofit Fundraising Report | Miratel Solutions

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Advice to Attract Million Dollar Donors According to Nonprofit Fundraising Report

The many nonprofit fundraising reports and research that are available are excellent tools for fundraisers as they provide insight into various aspects of the industry. I have featured a variety of these reports including The 2013 Burk Donor SurveyThe U.S. Trust Study of the Philanthropic Conversation: Understanding Advisor Approaches and Client Expectations and Nonprofit Challenges, What Foundations Can Do. One key aspect of successfully meeting fundraising goals is for nonprofits to understand who their donors/supporters are and why they give. Another point of interest should be understanding what motivates wealthy donors and what causes they tend to support. Recently Coutts released the annual The Million Dollar Donors Report 2013 which provides insight into 1,249 million dollar donors in six specific regions: United States, United Kingdom, China, Russia, Middle East and Hong Kong. Although it may be challenging for nonprofits to secure the $1 million gift it should peak fundraisers interest as to who these donors are. The following are some notable highlights from the report:

  • million-dollar-nonprofit-fundraising-report$19 Billion – The research discovered there were 1,955 donations valued at over $1 million each totaling $19 billion worldwide. The United States tops the list with 889 donors donating $14 billion, followed by the United Kingdom which had 98 donors giving £1.35 billion and China with $1.2 billion across 172 donors.
  • Individuals – The breakdown in type of donors was very close between individuals which accounted for 46% of donors and foundations which accounted for 40%, while corporations represented 14% of million dollar donors. According to the research foundations give the greater number of gifts.
  • Education – Higher education accounts for 37% of all million dollar gifts in the research, in the six regions that were analyzed and valued at $7.05 billion in donations in 2012. Foundations came in second with 15% and $2.87 billion in donations.
  • Domestic Donations – Overall 94.4% of donations were kept within the donor’s home country, however 71% of the Middle East’s gifts were abroad. As the report suggests, there may be a perception that there is a greater need outside of the Middle East in non-GCCArab countries with a large proportion toward disaster relief.
  • Foundations – One way that many million dollar donors are strategically formalizing their philanthropy is by establishing foundations, something the report points to as a growing trend, specifically well established in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The report had some advice for charities on how to attract the million dollar donors and the following were some key takeaways:

  • Dream BIG and have a vision
  • Communicate clearly and easily
  • Invest in fundraising
  • Plan donor recognition or acknowledgement
  • Involve donors directly
  • Plan and define future objectives
  • ‘Develop a relationship and build trust’
  • Be honest and genuine
  • ‘Be an expert in your field’

It takes time to cultivate a relationship with donors in general and million dollar donors are no different. The Million Dollar Donors Report 2013 also advises to be patient and realistic about your expectations, however, building a strong relationship with this elite group can pay dividends down the road and will be well worth the time and resources invested.


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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centreeBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraisingonline fundraisinglottery servicesdonation cagingdonation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.

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