• Ron Rescigno

Where Are the High-Dollar Donors?


Oh, they’re out there. You just have to understand their motivations in order to get them to come out of the woodwork and give you that $1,000 gift (starting point for the purposes of this blog).

I believe that, more than anything else, it’s positive emotions, not negative ones, that figure very prominently in attracting high-dollar donors. I’m talking emotions like hope, love, faith, compassion, and duty.

Here’s what we can confidently say we know about these donors:

  • They have the cash “on hand” to make a minimum gift of $1,000 at a time.

  • They’re high-salaried professionals, small business people, artists, heirs to wealth or beneficiaries of trust funds.

  • They’re busy with many demands on their time.

  • They’re constantly being asked to give, give, give.

  • Most of these people are older, or, as I like to say, about to “become old.”

  • They like direct mail.

  • They’re college educated (many with advanced degrees).

  • They vote.

  • They attend religious services regularly.

  • Many are very involved in their communities.

It has been said that donors at this level are empathetic. I’ve also heard and read this type of donor described as a “mercy giver.”

The lesson to be learned from this, I believe, is if you appeal to your donors’ best instincts, you’ll find that they’re just as interested as you are in making the world, or at least your corner of it, a better place to live.

Therefore, when you appeal to these donors, make sure you let them imagine themselves as being a very vital part of the solution your organization is seeking to address.

Can you add to the above bulleted points? Please do.