How to Ask for a Large Donation

how to ask for a large donation major donor leadership gift

Written by Denis Greene

Greene founded Church Development in 1992 and has since helped over 300 churches across the USA raise more than $300,000,000. He is the author of The Stewardship System, Stewardship-Based Capital Campaigns, and How To Ask For Donations as well as numerous articles on stewardship. He is also a proud member of the elite Catholic Speakers Organization,

October 25, 2019

At some point, every pastor has to learn how to ask for a large donation. It’s difficult to approach a member to ask for money. We make this intimidating experience easier with some tips. Learn how to deliver your pitch without offending your friends or getting kicked in the shins!

Tips on Asking for a Donation

Additional Thoughts:

  1. Pray for humility: the person who is mindful that his or her work, success, and failure is for God’s glory, and not his/her own pride, is fearless!
  2. Ask for large gifts in person. It’s much more difficult for the donor to say “No” to you face to face. Ask for an appointment. If you get an appointment, you’re 90% of the way there, because the member anticipates why you’re coming.
  3. Do the travelling. Always go to their office or home – don’t let them come to you. And go when the donor wants. Don’t not go because it’s inconvenient.
  4. Who should make the ask? Sometimes, rather than the pastor, it’s more effective to enlist an ally. When a social or professional peer asks a well-qualified peer to join him/her for a specific sum of money, that’s the magic of fund-raising. It’s very hard to turn away a friend or a colleague who’s a true believer and has already given to the cause.
  5. Thicken your skin. Don’t be afraid of a “No”. “No”s build character. Those members who say “No” might not even mean it. They may mean “later”, they might mean “maybe, I’ll give it some more thought”, they might mean “have someone else ask me”, they might mean “you asked for too little (or too much)”. Try your best to analyze those rejections and learn from them.
  6. Make your move. Don’t wait too long, thinking, ‘Oh, the relationship needs time to mature.’ It’s more important to make a compelling case early than a perfect case too late.

For an entire webinar on asking major donors for leadership gifts, watch our webinar on Major Gifts available on-demand on our Resources page and check out our downloadable guide on writing an appeal letter.

Additional REsources

A Few Other Resources We’ve Created for Our Customers

Guide to Church Capital Campaign Videos

Guide to Church Capital Campaign Videos

The definitive guide to church capital campaign videos. The open rate for a an email containing a video is above 70%. That compares to the open rate for an email without a video of about 20%. So that begs the question should you have a church capital campaign...


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Church Development is an International Catholic Stewardship Council Partner

International Catholic Stewardship Council Partners


Church Development is an International Catholic Stewardship Council Partner

International Catholic Stewardship Council Partners


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