The Importance of Lead Gift Prospects

The Importance of Lead Gift Prospects

December 12, 2012 by jga_admin


by Kris Kindelsperger

The recent results from the 2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, an ongoing partnership with the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, reinforced what many organizations have experienced in their campaigns in recent years.

The study examined a population of high net worth individuals that had a net worth of $1 million or more (excluding the value of their home) and/or an annual household income of $200,000 or more.

It is not surprising that this group is capable of making significant gifts. What is interesting is how much influence they have on philanthropy. Roughly half of all the gifts made by individuals in 2011was given by the wealthiest 3 percent of American households.

All Americans are generous, but high net worth individuals are even more so – 95% of the top 3% supported charitable organizations versus 65% of the general population. More important is the finding that those in the top 1% gave three times more than their counterparts in percentiles 2 and 3.

So, the 80/20 rule is clearly passé. The reality is that a handful of very large gifts may determine the overall success of your campaign.

Want to learn more about how to put these high net worth donors to work for your institution? Join us in Indianapolis next February at the 2013 ALDE Annual International Educational Conference as Cassidy K. Titcomb, Assistant Vice President, Development, Augsburg College, and I discuss “Readying Your Lead Gift Prospects for a Campaign!”

Cassidy and I will share proven techniques for identifying significant prospects within your donor pool, as well as, tools to rate, screen and track major gift prospects leading up to a comprehensive campaign. You will also learn valuable lessons on effectively managing your president, campaign chair, staff or other strategic partners to help build relationships and ensure you secure these high-impact gifts.

Learning techniques to strategically manage those high net worth prospects who have this level of capacity is a crucial step toward ensuring a successful campaign. As the Bank of American Study demonstrates, managed correctly, the time you spend with these individuals will pay dividends.