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Introducing Abacus Major Donor Ask Calculator

With Abacus™ Major Donor Ask Calculator you no longer need to shoot from the hip when deciding how much to ask a donor for a major gift. Abacus picks up where donor philanthropic capacity ratings and other donor research leave off. It uses objective data about the donor and their relationship to your organization to arrive at an aspirational, yet respectful, 3-year Pledge Ask amount that is bias-free – so you can Ask with confidence and maximize pledges.

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The Major Donor Ask Calculator is a web-based tool that dramatically improves the methodology and reliability of determining how much to ask a donor for as a major gift. It is easy to use and provides fundraisers with a structured way to determine an Ask amount that is aspirational yet respectful to donors.

The Calculator provides an expected pledge amount that fundraising teams can rely on for planning. A Readiness Score also helps fundraisers understand if they have sufficient donor information to have a successful gift conversation, along with tips and guidance for making the request and closing the gift. A robust library of donor calculation profiles provides a variety of analytics.


I am thrilled to launch the Abacus Major Donor Ask Calculator. This paradigm-changing tool, using Human Intelligence rather than AI, overcomes the challenges of using imperfect philanthropic capacity estimates and the inherent bias fundraisers often have about money and wealth. I believe the Ask Calculator will be a game-changer for organizations that rely on major donors to fund their mission and programs.

The Ask Calculator is based on a proprietary algorithm that considers various objective factors, including the donor’s giving history, wealth, and organization-specific engagement. The result is an Ask amount that is bold, credible, and defendable.

Proven Reliable

In real-world evaluations, philanthropic capacity estimates from wealth estimation services — the current gold-standard source of donor information — were a considerable 250% off from actual pledges. The Ask Calculator’s expected Goal was accurate within 2% of actual pledges, and the aspirational Ask was within 40% of actual pledges.

Lauren Dorn-Jones, Senior Development Officer, Cambridge Health Alliance Foundation, said, “Abacus is incredibly accurate and amazing. The Calculator will dramatically increase the confidence and results of anyone engaged in a campaign or working in major donor fundraising.”


The Calculator’s predictive accuracy gives fundraisers a superior planning tool. They can profile their top campaign donor candidates to determine if there are sufficient potential contributions in advance of undertaking a campaign. The results are numerous – saving time, money, and donor goodwill. Using Abacus, they can also value their donor pipeline to make effective staffing and strategy decisions and set key performance indicators for improved team performance.

7-Day Unlimited-Use Trial

The Major Donor Ask Calculator is available now on the Abacus website. Organizations can sign up for a free 7-day unlimited-use trial to see how the tool works and how it can specifically benefit their fundraising efforts. Monthly subscriptions are available for single users and fundraising teams at hospitals, higher education, performing arts, human services, and other nonprofit sectors, as well as with consultants that serve them. Private one-on-one training, instructional videos, and other major donor fundraising resources accompany the service.


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