Defining Major Gifts

Dear Kim:

I gave $1000 to an organization and was surprised (and a little hurt) to see that they consider only gifts of $5,000 and up to be “major gifts.” A thousand dollars is a lot of money to me, but another friend told me that $1,000 is not a very big gift anymore. Is that true?  That means a lot of us are being priced out of the charity market, which is kind of ironic.

~Need More Zeroes to CountDear Zero:

I can imagine the chorus of readers of your letter wishing you would come over to their organization, where you would definitely be treated as a major donor!  $1,000 is a lot of money to any person, even wealthy people, and ought to be a major gift in all but the most giant institutions.  Your friend is wrong—there are many organizations I work with where $100 is a major gift, and many more who raise thousands of dollars in gifts of $25 and $35.  The reality is that we need all sizes of gifts, and they all help.  What you need to do is find an organization that values your donations, whatever size they are.  No one should ever be “priced out of the charity market.”

Good luck!

~Kim Klein