10 Reasons to Love Small Gifts (and Plan as Carefully to Raise Small Gifts as Large Ones)

10 Reasons to Love Small Gifts (and Plan as Carefully to Raise Small Gifts as Large Ones)

  1. You never know how much a person can give.  You only know how much they did give.  A potentially large donor may court your organization before marrying it.
  2. The number of donors you have matters as much as how much the largest donors give. 
  3. Base-building builds the beloved community.
  4. Being able to say “100% of our Board give,” “100% of our staff give,” or “100% of our volunteers give”) is important to large donors and to funders.  It reassures them your fundraising pyramid has a strong and solid base.
  5. Board, staff, and volunteer gifts naturally include large and small gifts if the people who make up your Board, staff, and volunteers represent the beloved community you’re building.
  6. Practice democracy: ask everyone to give.
  7. Remember the Zen proverb “How you do anything is how you do everything.”  How your organization handles a small gift tells the world how you handle, and value, every gift.
  8. Small gifts yield a lot of money, especially regular pledges of amounts like $5 and $10.  Do the math!
  9. Most of us started out small.
  10. Giving is good for the soul.  Invite everyone to give because you care about the state of their souls.

 PS: My two favorite articles on seeking gifts of diverse sizes are from the Grassroots Fundraising Journal archive are “The Transformative Power of Fundraising” by Pilar Gonzales, and “The Donor in Us All: Reflections on Giving and Givers” by Chris Malcomb.  Get them for $3 apiece here: or subscribe to the Journal here and get them + every other article in the Journal’s archive free!  Later this week, I’ll post from my vantage point as a participant in the Journal’s mother organization’s biennial social-justice fundraising conference, Money for Our Movements.




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