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 Swank, JD, senior consultant at Target Analytics, a Blackbaud Company, helps nonprofits apply statistical analytics and donor research to their fundraising efforts with an emphasis on planned gifts. She has raised nearly $250 million for mission funding during her nonprofit development career. Katherine is a retired affiliate faculty member of Regis University’s master of Global Nonprofit Management degree program, where she taught courses on wealth and philanthropy.  Along with writing for publications like Advancing Philanthropy and Philanthropy Journal, she is also a frequent presenter for industry conferences such as NACGP, AFP, APRA, and bbcon. Having grown up in a tourist destination in Colorado, Katherine has become an avid world traveler and is exploring her way through the 1,000 places to see before you die, albeit slowly.  Connect with her on Twitter @KatherineSwank.

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