How Important is the Table of Gifts in a Campaign/Appeal?

capital campaigns Feb 23, 2021

Some people think that a table of gifts is only important in a capital campaign, but all of your fundraising efforts should be focused on the fact that 90 to 95 percent of your gifts will come from 5 to 10 percent of your donors. The table of gifts is important to help keep staff and volunteers focused on the fact that major gifts are the lifeblood of any fundraising campaign/appeal and that without those major gifts; no fundraising campaign/appeal can succeed. The internal table of gifts should also show how many prospects you will typically need in order to secure those major gifts, as in the example below:


Table of Gifts for $7,500,000 Campaign Goal


Committee Number of prospects needed Number of gifts needed At the following levels  Total
Leadership Gifts 3 1 $2,000,000 $ 2,000,000
9 3 500,000 1,500,000
15 5 250,000 1,250,000
Major Gifts 30 10 100,000 1,000,000
36 12 50,000 600,000
45 15 25,000 375,000
Other Gifts 54 18 15,000 270,000
60 20 10,000 200,000



Many Under $10,000 120,000
Total                        $7,500,000


Although this table is for a capital campaign, the same principle holds true if you are trying to raise $10,000, $100,000 or $1,000,000 in your annual appeal.

Does this table of gifts get shared with your donors and prospects? Yes! In fact, in a capital campaign it should be shared with the interviewees during a planning (or feasibility) study. It is important to show prospective donors that you need those big gifts, as well as a lot of smaller gifts in order for your campaign to succeed. In your preliminary case for support, as well as the final one, you can eliminate the “Number of prospects needed” column as this is only important for the staff and volunteers who will be raising the money. Your case might show a table like this:

Number of gifts needed At the following levels  Total
1 $2,000,000 $ 2,000,000
3 500,000 1,500,000
5 250,000 1,250,000
10 100,000 1,000,000
12 50,000 600,000
15 25,000 375,000
18 15,000 270,000
20 10,000 200,000
Many Under $10,000 120,000


Remember, it is important to show this reality to donors and volunteers in order to dispel thoughts such as “if we can get 1000 donors to give us $1,000, we will make our $1,000,000 goal.

To learn more about capital campaigns and how to develop your table of gifts, take my course, Capital Campaigns: Yes, You CAN Do It. Sign up here

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