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How Do United Way CEOs Raise Major Gifts?

United Way CEOs Raise Major Gifts

How Do United Way CEOs Raise Major Gifts? is timely article from George McCanless, Debbie Bogle & Jenny Lee. Here’s what these United Way Veteran CEOs have to share about their experience with Major Gifts Ramp-Up for United Way Programs

From George McCanless, United Way of Central Georgia:

Like you, I get many emails each week from consultants and companies offering some service to improve my organization.  But before you move on from this article, ask yourselves how many of those emails come from fellow United Way Network CEOs?  So, may I ask you one favor? If you are interested in building stronger relationships with major donors, increasing your fundraising revenue by six figures in the space of twelve months or less, and achieving greater impact in your mission to improve the lives of people in your community, please take a couple of minutes to read the rest of this article. I posed a question, “How Do United Way CEOs Raise Major Gifts?” The answer is Major Gifts Ramp-Up

Debbie Bogle, Jenny Lee and I (each of us are United Way CEOs) are co-hosting this event for your United Way and your partners.

Major Gifts Ramp-Up For United Way Programs
With Debbie Bogle, Jenny Lee & George McCanless
May 2-3, 2023
8:30am Registration Opens (Eastern Time)
9am-4pm (Eastern Time)
Virtual Happy Hour With Faculty

My United Way has lost over 25% of our campaign revenue in the last three years, with 75% of that coming from one major company campaign. With more and more companies moving away from traditional campaigns, I knew that my organization could not replace these losses through the traditional company campaign channel. Thankfully I had been introduced to the NANOE Major Gifts Ramp Up Team, and in the past year they helped my United Way bring in $434,000 in new individual major donor giving while simultaneously strengthening our skills in relationship building (in contrast to the more transactional process of our traditional company campaigns). My friends and peers Jenny and Debbie will share similar experiences.

In my particular case, by implementing Major Gifts Ramp-Up we went from 19 Alexis de Tocqueville members to 55, and received two $100,000 gifts. These are the two largest individual gifts my United Way had ever received.

How Do United Way CEOs Raise Major Gifts?

Do you know the untapped major gift potential of your market? If not, you owe it to yourself, and your organization, to understand what is possible. United Way Worldwide has a great Leadership and Tocqueville Giving Potential tool to help you assess it at United Way Online.  If you are like me, your reaction be a combination of amazement of the potential combined with the frustration of not having a solid strategy to bring in those donors. But as I said, Debbie, Jenny and I are not consultants: we’re United Way CEOs who employed the Major Gifts Ramp Up model to help us activate these donors and thus avoid having to reduce staff, cut back on programming, and squeeze our partner agency funding.

How Do United Way CEOs Raise Major Gifts?

If you are also like me, you know you need help in identifying potential major donors in your market, how to best cultivate relationships with them, and ultimately secure major gifts from them. There is nothing wrong with that. But that is why I cannot encourage you enough (or another senior leader on your team) to attend MGRU’s United Way specific virtual webinar on May 2-3.  Invest a little of your time to learn how MGRU can help you transform your United Way by implementing effective fundraising strategies that are tailored to the needs and interests of your potential major donors. Here is how you sign up:

Major Gifts Ramp-Up for United Way Programs

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please reach out to me, Debbie or Jenny. Like you, we all believe that United Ways are critical elements to the success of any community. Yet we are at a critical flex point when we must pivot to new ways of resource generation to remain effective and relevant.

Thank you, and I hope to see you on May 2nd!

George McCanless
United Way of Central Georgia
(478) 256-9745
[email protected]
Debbie Bogle
United Way of Decatur & Mid-Illinois
(217) 413-0516
[email protected]
Jenny Lee
Rowan County United Way
(704) 762-0462
[email protected]
About The Author – George McCanless

United Way of Central Georgia

George McCanless is President & CEO of United Way of Central Georgia. Installed in 2013, George has overseen an organizational transformation by building thriving communities and disrupting family poverty within Central Georgia. Under his leadership UWCG has increased and diversified its funding base while starting critical new initiatives.  The net result of these strategic moves is that funding has grown 72% while UWCG staff has increased from 13 to 48.


How Do United Way CEOs Raise Major Gifts? was first posted at INSIDE CHARITY

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