Previously, I wrote about dividing the target into four quarters to suit the organisation’s financial planning. Today, I am going to talk about gift range calculations and their usefulness in planning fundraising targets.
Use of gift range calculations
Irrespective of whether you are calculating gift ranges for an overall target or for an ad hoc campaign, it is very useful to use gift range calculators to give you a rough estimate about the number of gifts, the number of donors, and the size of gifts/donations required.
Furthermore, it is important to understand how many existing or potential donors can fund the major chunk of your financial target, so that you concentrate your efforts on quality and not quantity!
How to calculate gift ranges
There are many ways to do this. You can do this manually based on the size of the target, the average size of donations received and the number of existing donors. Several tools available online can do help you do this at the click of a button.
What happens next?
Now that you have calculated the number of gifts/donations required based on gift size, check your database to see if you have enough number of donors to achieve your target amount. If you don’t have enough number of leads, you need to start working on generating leads and categorising them, like we talked about in previous posts.
If you have sufficient leads, your next step is to meet with your prospects, explain your financial targets and find out if the amount they are willing to gift/donate meets your entire target. If yes, then your goal is achieved! If not, present two options based on your gift range calculations and ask your prospective donor which of the options suits him or her better. A word of caution here – do not present more than 2 options to each donor!
You can also use the data generated to set individual targets for your fundraising teams.
Should you rely on gift rate calculators?
While it is not advisable to rely completely on the numbers generated by online gift range calculators, they are an excellent tool to set KPIs for your fundraising team and to share campaign stats with your board or senior management.
The reason I warn against relying completely on online tools is simple. At the end of the day, ‘giving’ is a very personal action. Donors may take umbrage if you present them with cold figures with zero appeal to their emotions. Therefore, when meeting the donor in person, the first thing you should do is to share the project information and overall funding required. Like I always say, ‘Ask wisely!’