The article is about a fundraising veteran and how he is raising millions for nonprofits around the world, using your motivations.
You are trying to change the world for the better. You need money to do it. With money, you can hire the staff you need, pay competitive wages, expand your nonprofit’s outreach, increase your agency’s visibility, attract more donors to your cause, stabilize your finances, and perhaps attain sustainability. Imagine the impact you could make.
Nice dream? What if I told you it could be your reality? It can. Don’t believe me? Well, I was introduced to a tool this summer that can help you raise the money you need to really make a difference in improving the human condition. It’s called Major Gifts Ramp Up. And it uses the principles outlined in my books, The Sustainable High ROI Fundraising System and The ROI Mindset: How to Raise More Money with the Budget You Have.
The Basic Elements
I like Major Gifts Ramp Up because it covers all the essentials of raising money while quickly getting at the core issues hindering most nonprofits from making a big impact. And it emphasizes donor-centric fundraising. Specifically, if it is followed religiously, Major Gifts Ramp Up:
- Creates awareness of your nonprofit in your community among people with means to give who have an interest in your work
- Builds the infrastructure your agency needs, preparing your organization to ask for, receive, and manage game-changing gifts
- Identifies people of wealth in your community
- Provides you with the tools you need to cultivate potential donors so you can make a significant ask
- Teaches you how to steward your donors so they give again
And it’s affordable for even the smallest nonprofit. The return on your investment is sky-high, a concept near and dear to my heart. I believe nonprofits should only make investments that give them big returns.
Major Gifts Ramp Up has three phases to it. The building and planning phases align closely with the ideas I preach in my two books and use in my work with nonprofits.
The Building Phase
During the building phase, you align your organization with the management philosophy that money is king, without which your nonprofit will die on the vine. You learn about major gift fundraising and what it means for your agency to do it. You go through an organizational development process that readies you for major gift management. You craft a knockout case for support that excites people of means. You establish your campaign leadership. And you coordinate an 18-month calendar with all the existing and campaign tasks necessary for your nonprofit’s success. The building phase usually takes seven to eight months to complete.
The Planning Phase
You start the planning phase and the building phase together. You implement them concurrently.
During the planning phase, you identify your prospects, people with the means to give game-changing gifts. You plan and execute a highly choreographed awareness event. This event is not an ask event. Its purpose is to introduce people of wealth to your work. After the event, you develop a detailed cultivation plan for each event attendee who has agreed to be contacted. After everyone is contacted, you hold a signature ask event, again carefully choreographed and executed. You raise lots of money and, because you’ve created a rememberable donor experience, your donors are on cloud nine.
But the Major Gifts Ramp Up model doesn’t end there.
The Inviting Phase
The inviting Phase is the last phase leading to full campaign success. During this phase, you work with your campaign leadership to visit donors a second time to ask for a another, bigger gift. You and your campaign leaders conduct personal interviews at a place chosen by the donor. Then you make your second ask. You ask for money to help you meet your nonprofit’s operating expenses, growth goals, and capital and endowment goals. And, because you crafted a knockout case for support, you watch people agree to make another game-changing gift when asked.
The Inviting Phase takes anywhere from three to six months.
And then you, your team, and your donors celebrate campaign success! You follow up with donors by communicating the change their donation is making.
Jimmy Larose is the architect. Brash, passionate, bold, and decisive, he is a controversial figure in the traditional fundraising world. He makes waves. He bucks the status quo. He ardently believes that if nonprofits are to achieve the scale they need to make a true difference, things must change. Nonprofit leaders must come to the realization that it is money that makes scaling their organization possible. What nobler end for noble causes?
And he’s not subtle about his beliefs. In his hyperbolic fashion, he addresses issues head on. He will, in fact, pick fights with those who do not agree with him.
Personally, I find his approach somewhat off-putting. But I agree with his model. And I agree that traditional fundraising needs shaking up. The nonprofit community is not, as a whole, solving the world’s toughest problems in any big way. Truly, something must be done for us to achieve our goals.
No matter how I feel about his approach, he incorporates sound research-based principles into his model. Jimmy LaRose and the Major Gifts Ramp Up model have integrity. And I know his approach is purposefully designed to shake things up, to help the industry redefine itself so we all grow and garner the kind of support our causes deserve. That is what I stand behind.
Plus, behind the outer trappings, I find someone who is open to new ideas, loves humankind, and is gracious to everyone he meets. We agree about 75 percent of the time. We listen and debate each other. We respect other’s viewpoints. We accept each other as the unique, wonderful creatures we are. We have become fast and dear friends.
Which brings me back to Major Gifts Ramp Up.
Bringing It Together
If you are looking for a fundraising tool that is easy to follow and raises the kind of money you need to change the world, Major Gifts Ramp Up is for you. If you want to realize an excellent return on investment, Major Gifts Ramp Up is for you. Attend one of the Major Gift Ramp Up Conferences and get the tools you need to raise really big bucks. I’m glad I did. Make your own dreams come true. I would love to help you.
To see Jimmy in action, register for my Nonporift Star Quest leadership summit here, where he will be the keynote. To learn more about Major Gifts Ramp Up, sign up to attend a Major Gifts Ramp Up conference here.