Gift Tables (also known as Gift Pyramids) are great fundraising tools for capital campaigns, major gifts fundraising, “fiscal year fundraising,” and even for major events.
Starting with the basics: Prior to the beginning of every fiscal year, an NPO goes through its budgeting process and comes up with a (realistic, attainable) figure for how much money will be needed for operations, and how much of that will be needed to be raised via charitable giving.
The latter figure must be based on prior experience and analysis of the likely giving of those currently in the organization’s database. Assuming that the figure obtained by that analysis is realistic, one is able to construct a comprehensive Gift Table that (pretty much) reflects reality.
That Pyramid then becomes a tool by which an organization can stay focused on their fundraising goals, and appropriately allocate their resources (time, effort, personnel and finances).
Keeping in mind that your potential major donors are the top part of the fiscal year pyramid, you now should create a separate pyramid just for that constituency. Again, this new pyramid is a great tool to help keep an organization focused on priorities.
Also, since Special Events are part of the budgeting process (expenses and income), creation of a pyramid for each event should be part of the planning. The pyramid will help keep you focused on what needs to be done to ensure meeting an event’s financial goal.
In the context of a capital campaign, the Gift Pyramid is constructed based on the information obtained during the Campaign Planning Study, usually by the person/firm that conducted the Study; and, as above, the pyramid is a great way to stay focused….
In addition, the pyramid is a great tool for solicitors who are uncomfortable in asking for a specific dollar figure – for example (referring to the “idealized” Gift Table, rather than asking for a gift of $50,000 the solicitor might ask the prospect to consider a gift in the “C” category — (see Constructing The Gift Table).
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