Smart Tip: Solicit One Person a Week = Raise Over $3 Million | npENGAGE

Smart Tip: Solicit One Person a Week = Raise Over $3 Million

By on Jan 25, 2011


If you could focus on 100 prospects over the next two years – one person a week – with the promise of raising more than $3 million, would you devote your time to building relationships with these individuals?  What if this same group of donors could provide $7 million or more in contributions?  Would your daily routine in the office change?

By concentrating your efforts on your top 100 planned giving prospects, your hard work could alter the course of your organization’s future.  For every person devoted to planned giving efforts you assign 100 prospects.  That’s an average of one each week allowing a bit of time off for the year-end holidays when it’s unlikely that your invitations to meet will be accepted.  A team of three people could handle 300 prospects over the same period of time.  The following chart provides a straight-forward view of what ‘s possible through one-on-one cultivation and solicitation of planned gifts by a dedicated outreach effort using specific gift amounts.

The Power of Planned Gifts:

Organization’s Goal to Personally Solicit Prospects Over a Two-Year Period

# of Positions @ Organization with Planned Giving Fundraising Duties 



4 or more  

# Prospects to Visit/Solicit 







High National Average Gift (U.S.)




Low (U.S.) National Average Gift (Canada)$35,000




$10,000 Average Gift




$5,000 Average Gift





*Katherine Swank is a consultant for Target Analytics. You may reach her at

Katherine has over 30 years of experience in the fundraising industry as a consultant, development officer and advancement team manager. As a member of Blackbaud’s analytics consulting team for over a decade, she facilitates strategic, client-facing content for Blackbaud’s custom modeling, wealth screening, and prospect research solutions to enhance clients’ development efforts with data-driven strategies.  Before assuming this role, she served as the national director of gift planning at
the National Multiple Sclerosis Society home office. Katherine has raised over $200 million during her career. She is a past president of the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable, a former lawyer and also served as an affiliation faculty member at Regis University where she taught development-related courses at the master’s level for more than 10 years. She is a frequent speaker at BBCON, NACGP, Apra, AFP and other industry conferences.

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