When you’ve been courting a major donor for weeks, months or even a year, it’s a great feeling to get that big commitment. You’ll probably want to shut down the office for the day and take your staff out to celebrate–and you should!

But major donor fundraising (and really, all fundraising) doesn’t stop after the first donation.

We’ve found nonprofits who put the donor first, instead of their bottom line, experience dramatic improvements in donor retention and satisfaction. Here are three ways to develop a major donor relationship, instead of leaving things as a one-time transaction.

Watch to Learn 3 Major Donor Fundraising Tips:


You’ve met with a major donor, gotten to understand their needs and why they’re passionate about your nonprofit’s cause, and now they’ve decided take the plunge and donate.

Awesome. Congratulations!

But your work doesn’t end there. 7/10 new donors only donate once. As any couple in their golden years can tell you, the courtship doesn’t end after you put a ring on it.

Here’s three ways to keep donors coming back, and keep the fire alive.

Number 1. Always, always thank them! But don’t just send them a boilerplate thank you or a receipt for their tax records.You’ve spent weeks or even months getting to know your donor–use that to thank them! Tell them exactly how their gift will make a difference in the terms that matter most to them. And remember: never ask for more money in a thank you.

Number 2. Ping them.

Pinging is just a way of staying on your donor’s radar–it could be an email, dropping into their office or even a text. The point of pinging is to stay at the top of your donor’s mind–but also to offer them value. A great way to do this is an email newsletter or a brief phone call from a board member.

Finally, Number 3. Don’t wait too long to ask them again. What’s the biggest reason donors give money again? Because they’re asked. Remind them that the continued support of loyal donors is what changes the world.

Thanks for watching!