QuickTakes Vlog

40 Years from the Front Lines

Personal encounters, insights and laughs from the “trenches” by Larry G. Raff, President, Copley Raff

Subscribe to the QuickTakes YouTube Channel

Wealth Source

Knowing the donor’s source of wealth will help you construct a stronger ask and recommendations for gift type and structure.

Money Attitudes

Your attitude and emotions about money can often interfere with the amount you ask of someone for a major gift and how comfortable you are asking. (Mishigoss is Yiddish for silly craziness.)

Board Chairs

Be sure to have an open dialog with your board chairs about their responsibilities and your hopes for their involvement and giving.

Donor Research

The best research about the philanthropic capability of a donor candidate is finding a stakeholder who knows them well and then add that to the electronic wealth and other research. Then bring together colleagues to discuss the ask amount.

Work with Staff

When building your donor pipeline, be sure to ask your more senior staff to review a screening list of prospects and to suggest potential donors.

Fundraising Performance

Just because a nonprofit’s fundraising history is not strong does not mean it cannot be strengthened and begin attracting major donor gifts.

Donor Pipeline

Think outside the box to build a major donor pipeline.

Institutional Self-Esteem

Your nonprofit needs to believe it is important enough to attract leadership and transformational gifts. Only then will that happen.


Being in an economic downturn does not mean your best donors are being affected. Keep a positive attitude until you know more about the donor’s situation.

3 Degrees Separation

Gaining access to high potential prospects is difficult. Finding and using the relationships of others is the key to success.

Bonding Calls

Bonding calls to thank donors for their giving is a chance to get to know them and to express your appreciation. The call greatly enhances the likelihood of continued giving.