Major Donors

While foundations, corporations, and other institutional donors certainly give major gifts, this blog is focused primarily on using strategic communications to bolster individual major donor interest and support. Whether giving personally or as a member of a foundation or corporate board or Fidelity account, individuals in the end make all the giving decisions.

Who They Are

The wealthy are a diverse, incredibly small group (Bloomberg List) and increasingly transnational. How does a charity with no “natural” connection such as is offered by an alma mater get noticed and possibly enter into that exclusive fellowship? By invitation. By creatively offering “pride of association.” 2013 World Wealth Report is here.

Once there, how does a charity deepen the relationship with its most vital donors? Strategic communications that go beyond giving societies and naming-in-granite opportunities (if you have them to give). The relationship needs to be an ongoing conversation, affirmed repeatedly by other conversations either read or heard in the donor’s social and business worlds. Even the anonymous major donor needs her gifts continually validated by what she reads and hears about your cause.

For a better understanding of The Rise of the Global Elite, Chrystia Freeland of The Atlantic gives an insightful description.

Where They Are

There are some 400 billionaires in the US. Connecticut, for example, is home to 11 billionaires. About 7,000 Connecticut households report incomes above $2 million. Nationally, the average income of the top 1 percent, according to the Tax Policy Center, is $1.5 million, and the 120,000 tax filers that make up the top tenth of this group earned an estimated average of $6.8 million in 2011.

Wherever they may be, creating one’s own foundation, think tank, or “ideas conference” is now a way to do good and to consolidate private gains in the eyes of peers. This blog is designed to help you make your charity serve as an additional pathway for the expression of their philanthropic zeal.

Here is a list of major donor peer groups and networks provided by Bolder Giving.

There is also traditional and new media, house parties, and other forms of word-of-mouth-marketing. The goal of this blog is to help you consider ever-changing ways to find, begin and deepen your relationships with major donors.

Interesting Findings

The Facts about major gifts.

The Giving Pledge list.

Summary of Planned Giving Strategies & IRS Rules.

Listening and Research Links






Google Alerts


Ice Rocket




Social Mention

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