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How To Prioritize Individual Giving and Raise 5 and 6-Figure Gifts

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Giving season is officially here! Are you ready to double your individual giving this year?

Let this session be your pep talk with actionable steps to raise 5 and 6-figure individual gifts regularly without asking with fundraising consultant Julie Ordonez.

Julie is a former top 1% performer at United Way of Greater Los Angeles and development director at a national anti-poverty organization. She helps ambitious nonprofit leaders get the courage and strategy to ask for more and raise 5, 6 and 7-figure gifts inside her group coaching accelerator CourageLab.

What you’ll learn:

  • Keys to a culture of generosity
  • What should fundraisers & development teams be focused on right now when it comes to individual giving
  • How to arrange a powerful donor meeting via Zoom to encourage individual giving 



10:00 – In your signature program, The Courage Lab you speak about the keys to a culture of generosity. Can you explain what you mean by that?

I think a lot of leaders, they come to people like you or me, right. Or there’s so many amazing experts out there and they’re like, look, we need to raise more money. We’ve got more people we need to serve. And our program, they’re on the waitlist. We need to hire more staff. We need to grow. Right. And so they come to us for those reasons.

And what’s really going on behind the scenes. What is the root cause of why they’re not fully funded is because of the culture.

There is not a culture that is conducive to people giving a lot of money, but just things you put where you have made it hard for people to give you money. And there are many, many valid reasons for this, right? A lot of it is unintentional.

We get bogged down doing things we hate.

We’re not in our strengths – and so we move a lot slower. It feels laborious because it is.

I think that the nonprofit sector overall is not very strategic and they’re not owning their genius.

A big part of building a culture of generosity is, is you have to be willing to humble yourself and do the things that really good at. And I think courage is, is rooted in humility.

Courage is saying, I am willing to do the thing that scares me, or that is risky.

I think we struggle with building a culture of generosity where people are just inspired to give. And so they give spontaneous gifts that are above and beyond what we anticipated.

You might be thinking, “oh, this person could probably give $10,000.” That’s what my gut is saying.

But if you work on building a culture that is rooted in gratitude, that’s rooted in humility that you’re communicating really well and often, and you’re owning your genius.

Your internal fundraising goals will become irrelevant because people will start to spontaneously give above and beyond even what you were planning on, asking them for.

20:12 – We’re at the beginning of giving season, what should fundraisers & development teams be focused on right now when it comes to individual giving?

Identify what your goal is.

What is your number goal? What, what do you need to get to? What would you like to get to?

You know, let’s say that that’s $250,000 you need to, and this literally takes five minutes, sit down and write out the names of the people who you think are going to get you to $250,000. I

t’s probably around 10 people if you’re honest. So these people could be your most loyal volunteers. I don’t care if they’ve given you $500 or a $1,000 gift in the past, these people could be people who’ve given you $50K in the past. So there’s a lot of different ways to get to $250,000.

And we think that because we have an email list that is 3000 people, or we have all these Instagram followers, we have all these people on Facebook.

We’re thinking about all these different platforms. And we’re looking at achieving our goal in a completely different way. When it comes to EOY giving, the people who are going to get you to your goal are your most passionate people who this mission to them is deeply personal.

They are on your team. They have your back.

When you need emergency funds or you need some sort of, you know, you need lighting for your play production. You need, you know, whatever it is, right. They’re there. And they show up those people and we need to do a good job of communicating to them, how they have helped you to get where you are.

So let’s say you got 10 to 12 people who are going to help you get to $250,000.

Then between now and the end of the year, you need to re what, write 12 emails, and have 12 meetings. This is very doable in three months.

We need to bring focus to our efforts.

If you really think about it, okay, I have to meet my goal. Who’s going to help me get there. That’s where you focus your time and energy.

And it will bring such a sense of relief that you don’t have to reach out to everybody and their brother.

You know, it really is about the people who have the highest capacity and really, even more than that, who have the highest passion for your mission and are on your team.

24:07 – Millennials & Gen-Z donors – What’s your perspective on how stewarding these donors is evolving?

I would say that right now we are in a really interesting time in history where we’re really isolated and people are really lonely.

I think that nonprofits have a moral responsibility to communicate ways in which millennials and gen Z can actually find meaning and purpose and their own dreams beyond being self-focused frankly.

I see nonprofit leaders as the ones who can really step in and cultivate that community to bring them together.

I think that our communication and our tactics should be highly personalized and engaging and relationship and impact focus.

38:04 – What are your tips for a successful virtual ask meeting?

So as you can see, I’m looking at the camera, right? And Dana, your face is down here. I’m using to look at the camera because I not for me, it’s for you. And for everybody watching, it appears as though I’m giving you direct feedback.

  1. You are going to need to get comfortable pretending like your camera lens is a human being.
  2. Ask powerful questions to better understand why they give. You have to genuinely be curious. If you think you already know all of the answers, then why the heck are you meeting with this person?
  3. When they provide their answers, document it! If they share something emotional and personal, don’t put them back into the “general mass email funnel.”
  4. Set the expectations of the call ahead of time
  5. Make sure your tech is the least of your worries. Make sure your camera, audio, lighting, and connectivity is set up well so you’re not spending time worrying or fixing anything.

This interview was sponsored By Givebutter – Successfully raise funds, track progress, and engage your supporters. Givebutter brings together everything you need, completely free. Learn More: https://givebutter.com/


I’m Dana Snyder! An entrepreneur, digital strategist, and passionate conscious consumer. I founded Positive Equation in 2017 with a focus on helping nonprofits cultivate passionate online audiences of donors, partners, and advocates using social media.

Currently based in Atlanta, I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with Movember, Dress for Success, USTA, Honest Company, Sports Illustrated, American Idol, The Global Foodbanking Network, The Gary Sinise Foundation, LA84 Foundation, and many more on their digital strategies.

Learn how to attract new donors with Facebook and Instagram ads in my online course, Digital Donors On-Demand!

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