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3 Ways to Virtually Care for Top Donors During Uncertain Times

3 min read
Sep 1, 2020 9:32:11 AM



Carla Maxwell Ray
Senior Generosity Strategist


In these times when many of our interactions are happening online, how do we engage and encourage giving from our most capable donors?

First, let’s discuss:

How Money Is Raised

Individual giving accounts for over 68% of charitable gifts. Though the percentage is decreasing, we believe that many are establishing foundations and donor advised funds. A large percentage (30%+) come from a relatively few higher capacity givers. A significant percentage (20%+) comes from the next tier of givers. The remainder holds all other givers: annual fund, direct mail & online/mobile.

How Do We Encourage

Receiving funding from the highest capacity givers is the single most important part of financing the vision. Their support is critical to establishing credibility and generating significant buy-in. You must have a clear vision and urgent mission. Remember, major donors are people who have needs and interests too.

Implementing exceptional stewardship for your top givers is a much needed practice. Church Management Software allows you to acknowledge gifts in a timely fashion. Recognition of giving is important. Conducting Why You Give interviews that feature your most faithful givers will inspire others. Showcase videos of donors who continue to give despite their circumstances. Has anyone exponentially increased their giving? If so, what happened? Why? Record these stories so you may share them with others. In this way, you can recognize your givers while also inspiring others to give.

Virtual gatherings are key to keeping the personal touch and leverage the influence of your most committed high capacity givers. In these intimate events, have the leader share their vision. Having a devoted leader share their generosity journey is important. Below are three different types of gatherings:

    1. Top Giver Appreciation 
    2. High Capacity Gathering for the Church
    3. High Capacity Gathering for the Not for Profit

Celebrating givers can happen at these virtual gatherings if you give it a party feel. Pause and acknowledge milestones with celebratory joy. Another way to celebrate is through social media. Just be sure that your donors do not mind a public display of their generosity. Some may wish to remain anonymous and that’s okay. Keep the atmosphere light and fun.

Discuss the benefits of Donor Advised Funds (DAF). Currently, DAFs make up 12% of individual giving, especially since the new tax laws were implemented. Research your database and pull out those who gave through a DAF. Ask for another gift for this year from DAF donors.

Due to COVID-19 and the CARES Act, emphasize that our donors and corporations should be approached for major gifts as “Under the CARES Act.” Donors can get a Federal income tax deduction for charitable contributions of up to 100% of their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). This deduction can be enhanced by a Roth IRA conversion. This is up from the previous limit of 60%. Corporations may deduct up to 25% of taxable income, up from the previous limit of 10%. Many high capacity families are entrepreneurs. It’s helpful to remind them of this benefit. 


Now that you know how to virtually take care of your top donors and those who will be your top donors, plan and prepare for an abundant influx of resources. Contact Generis to have a coach help you implement these strategies outlined above. 



Written By: Carla Maxwell Ray, Senior Generosity Strategist
CLICK HERE to connect with Carla


Connect with Total Advancement Solutions


Related Resources: 

The Mind Of The Giver
Year-End Resource For Your Christian Organization
The Christian Education & Non-Profit Organization Capital Campaign Checklist

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