Tax-Optimized Donations: Grow Your Major Giving Program in 2023

by | Feb 1, 2023

What’s keeping your nonprofit’s major gift strategy from reaching its full potential? 

If your fundraising team waits another year to prioritize and refocus its major giving approach, you might be spoiling a golden opportunity to cultivate donors that can make game-changing gifts for your organization. 

After all, a new round of prospect research paired with a technology upgrade could be just the thing to empower your team to convert those potential major donors in your pipeline. 

In today’s landscape, more donors are using structured vehicles and donating non-cash assets, so it’s critical to have a fundraising solution in place that can help you master the art of the modern fundraising ask. 

The Giving Block’s fundraising tools have been a difference-maker for thousands of nonprofits to unlock big donations, so we gathered a few insights that can help your team hone in on the details that can dramatically boost your fundraising outcomes in 2023 and beyond.

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What is a Major Gift?

Your nonprofit’s major gifts are defined as the largest donations that you receive in a given fundraising year.

What counts as a major gift? It varies greatly from organization to organization. Most nonprofits in the U.S. have an operating budget under $5M, while the largest charities might receive individual donations of $5M regularly.

An easy way to calculate your major gift threshold is to figure out your average donation size. Anything above that figure, or a certain percentage above that figure, could count as a major gift.

What Research Reveals About Major Donor Prospects

The industry’s rule of thumb is that 80% of your donations come from just 20% of your donors. And though it takes time and effort to secure a commitment from these big donors, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated.

Knowing how potential major donors invest and hold their wealth is an essential step in understanding their needs and preferences when it comes to charitable giving. Here are a few key insights about these affluent and high-net worth individuals:

  1. They are often diverse investors, with real estate, stock and cryptocurrency holdings
  2. They keep a majority of their wealth in non-cash assets
  3. They are tax-savvy and know how to optimize their charitable giving to maximize their tax savings by using donor-advised funds and making crypto donations
  4. They have increased their giving since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
  5. They are giving to multiple organizations—an average of seven nonprofits per household
  6. They tend to be college educated, homeowners, and members of the Baby Boomer and Silent Generations
  7. They give because they believe in the causes they support

What’s more, many of these major donor prospects may already be active nonprofit volunteers, donors, or even board members. In other words, now—perhaps more than ever—they are prime candidates for cultivating as supporters of your mission.

Avoid These Potential Major Donor Hangups

The difference between a “yes” and a “no” from donors often hinges on key determining factors like timing, market conditions, and how early you start the conversation. 

If your first personal touchpoint with a potential donor is in November, for example, it’s probably too late to ask them to make a gift before December 31. In most cases, you should be planning several months or even a year ahead for major gift cultivation.

Here’s another scenario: if the crypto markets are pumping but the stock market is in a slump, that may change which assets your donors prefer to give this year. If you accept Bitcoin donations, you’d be in luck! If not, you may have lost a significant potential donor, given that the average cryptocurrency donation size hovers around $10,000.

Some of the most common pitfalls aren’t dependent on how or when you start talking, but whether you can provide a “smooth landing” when you try to close on a major donation. Ask these questions when assessing your major gift toolkit’s strengths and weaknesses: 

  • Are details about your stock or crypto acceptance policy easily accessible on your website? 
  • To donate non-cash assets, will donors need to email a member of your team or a third-party advisor to process the gift or structure a Donor-Advised Fund, or do you have a live donation form?
  • Do you require donors to submit numerous forms for non-cash gifts? 
  • Can your system automatically generate 8282/8283 forms?
  • If a donor would prefer that you hold the non-cash donation as an investment, do you have the means of doing so?

The bottom line is that as concepts like donor empowerment become more important, nonprofits have to adapt to meet their donors’ needs, which may have evolved with the emergence of Millennial and Gen Z donors and technological innovations that weren’t available in the past.

Start Increasing Major Gifts with The Giving Block

When you’re ready, have a talk with your executive leadership about upgrading the necessary tools for your major giving strategy. Getting started with The Giving Block will immediately increase your capacity to accept major gifts in the form of cryptocurrency and stock. 

Our 2,000+ clients include four of the five top nonprofits in the U.S. and nearly half of the nation’s top 100 charities. As the most-trusted solution for cryptocurrency donations, we have helped nonprofits raise their previous year’s annual revenues solely with crypto donations, and tap into an entirely new donor demographic. 

Here’s just a sample of the benefits your team can expect with The Giving Block:

  • Immediate support for cryptocurrency donations, which are much larger (~$10,000) than online cash donations ($204) on average.
  • Ability to cultivate a major donor class of young, affluent, tech-savvy and highly generous crypto users who upend the traditional major donor profile.
  • Inclusion in fundraising and awareness campaigns for crypto donors that help your nonprofit find new donors.
  • Options to enable our all-in-one solution for cards, stock & crypto donations, empowering your donors to choose what’s right for them, when they are ready to give. 
  • Automated processes like 8282/8283 form generation and converting non-cash gifts to cash, which greatly reduces your team’s administrative burden
  • Access to our in-house Private Client Services team to assist with large donations, white-glove gift execution, and more.

Ace Your Major Donor Fundraising Strategy

Show major donors you care by offering them tax-optimized giving options on a unified and easy-to-use platform. Join over 2,000 charities using The Giving Block’s crypto and stock fundraising solution today.

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