Step 6: Assess Fundraising Methods for Major Donors

Effective fundraising methods are identified by the way gifts are solicited.

MethodBenefitsLimitations
Personal (or Face-to-Face)Best used for large or special gifts. Can also be effective for annual unrestricted SupportLimited to the number of people you have time and energy with whom to meet.
PhoneA method to initate personal contact as a prelude to making the ask. Can also be used to upgrade gifts.Although personal, this method may require the creation of a formal script for less confident volunteers to use.
Direct MailUsed to share information with donors and prospects for repeat gifts.Less personal, easier for prospects to decline the opportunity to give.
Special EventsAttractive for new donors and good for publicizing successes.These typically require the sponsoring organization to spend some funds up front.
Grant ProposalsUsed to raise restricted funds.Often requires the efforts of a full-time staff person and can be limited to the number/type of grants available to your organization.
OnlineUsed for "rapid response" gifts in an emergency. Also helpful for acquiring new donors and increasing marketing efforts.This method has a low barrier to entry, which can result in donors feeling oversaturated and less inclined to contribute. 
Planned GivingA one-time gift from a committed donor, usually restricted funds to preserve a legacy.Must be a strategic ask since it is unlikely that the donor will be a repeat giver.
TributesGifts received "in honor of..." is a growing trend for family and professional celebrations.

Must be approached with care due to the nature of the opportunity (typically the loss of a loved one).

Many of these methods can be utilized to meet a variety of volunteer champion styles and strengths. All of these methods can lead to major donors!