How to Major Gift Fundraise

3 Actions Every Catholic Apostolate Should Consider When Looking for Major Donors

We all want to find that one donor who can write a MASSIVE check.

Well, how do you get the big BIG check?

How do you find the MAJOR donor?

I’ve had my share of success stories in the arena of a major gift fundraising, and if I could offer you some advice, it would be this:

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Other articles you might be interested in:

“Who Really Cares” – Who Donates and How to Ask Them to Give

3 Common Questions about Fundraising Answered

Fundraising Tips from Saint Augustine of Hippo

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Today, my fellow Catholic, we are going to be talking about major gift fundraising, which means large donors, big gifts, large donations, anything that involves asking for a large sum of money. That’s going to be the key topic I’m going to be sharing with you. Three pieces of advice on large donors that I think are going to give you a great foundation for your own major gift fundraising.  The next three pieces of advice are pretty much the basis of everything that I do, so stick with me until the very end of this video. Each one of these strategies is going to add on top of one another, and I think you’re going to walk away with a good perspective on understanding how to do major donor fundraising. 

But before we dive in, just a quick introduction: My name is Brice Sokolowski, the founder of, a website and apostolate completely dedicated to helping Catholics with their fundraising. So whether you’re starting out and looking for which direction to go, or you’re well on your way and looking for some fresh ideas (or just making sure that you haven’t forgotten anything) you are in the right spot. 

Before we dive in, here is my completely free gift to you, my guide, The 10 Commandments to Catholic Fundraising. This guide, which I’m offering to you, absolutely free, has 10 lessons that I found have really helped Catholics move forward with their fundraising. So you have a complete 360-degree perspective on what you should be doing, what your apostolate should be doing, and what your team should be doing. It’s a good basis for everything fundraising. The link is below, again, completely free. 

Also below, you are going to find my discussion notes, everything that I’m going to be looking at on my piece of paper right now. So you’re going to be completely equipped with everything that you need, regarding major gift fundraising and moving forward with your fundraising. 

I am offering you three pieces of advice on major gift fundraising and the first piece of advice that I have is, before you ask anybody for a donation, they have to know who you are

Let’s say, for example, that you have found out that there’s a very wealthy Catholic living in your area. 

Step one is not to ask them for a donation. Step one is to introduce yourself and introduce your apostolate. It’s that simple. You can do this. There’s nothing required with fundraising or asking for a donation. But this is still a very, very important step, which a lot of people overlook, and you might overlook it too because you just want to “get ‘er done.” My recommendation is, you have to introduce yourself. You have to meet potential donors. And you have to get to know a little bit about them – and they have to get to know a little bit about you, too. That’s step number one. 

Step number two is, they have to love what you do. This is where you add on to your introduction and have to somehow invite them ‘into the fold,’ invite them into your apostolate.  Remember, you’re doing God’s work and God’s work is bringing people you know into the fold. If you refer to our Catechism of the Catholic Church, they talk about pursuing a vocation which, to an apostolate, is very important. Our Catechism says, to pursue your vocation you need to have a community around you. And so, before you ever say, ‘Hey, would you like to donate?’ you have to ask, ‘Would you become part of my community?’ It’s up to you to first make sure that they’re part of your community. 

Is that going to take a little bit of effort? Yeah, I think so. But it’s extremely beneficial because the majority of the time, somebody who loves what you do is going to stick around. So are you just looking for that quick donation or do you want somebody donating for a long time? Because you really have to do this. Sure, there’s always a chance that, even if you don’t do it, you might get a big donation. But more than likely, they won’t donate again next year. So save yourself time, energy, and effort (for the sake of your future sanity). When it comes to major gift fundraising, it can get tough. This can get into really, really tough fundraising so those potential donors have to know and love what you do. Just take some time to get to know them, to build a relationship with them. This is all very basic stuff, it almost feels like it would have nothing to do with fundraising, but in truth, it’s essential. 

And my third point, which encapsulates what everybody is looking for is…  What am I supposed to say? What am I supposed to do? Well, what it comes down to is a direct ask. You just have to look at them face-to-face and ask them directly. That is really  Major Gift Fundraising in a nutshell. They have to know who you are, they have to love what you do, and then, you have to directly ask them.  There are no other secrets. Now, some people might read this and say well, I really want to know the specifics. How do I get to know this rich guy? I want to just ask him for money. How do I do that? 

Like I just laid out, this is actually how you do it. Even if you look at non-Catholic nonprofits out there that are bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars, this is the strategy. This is the strategy for Catholic apostolates that I have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, consistently. This is the strategy. It is very practical: They have to know you, they have to love what you do, and you just have to directly ask them.

If you want to know more of the specifics of what you are supposed to actually say, then jump over to my website. I have scripted examples of what to actually say. I also have programs that can teach you how to say it, under any type of scenario but, for the most part, right here right now, I think these three points build a solid foundation, 

So, I leave you with this advice and if you have any questions, reach out to me at Please forward this to your board or trustees or leadership team, or to a Catholic apostolate that you think might benefit from its advice. Or just leave a comment and say, hey, thanks. I always love hearing from all of you (all of my topics come from people who have emailed me and asked me a question). So may God love you and I’ll speak to you soon, bye!

Want to fundraise more for your Catholic apostolate?

Make sure to get your free copy of ‘The 10 Commandments of Catholic Fundraising’. It’s a book that highlights the ten tasks you should do to keep you focused on your mission and hit your fundraising target, every time.

Click here to subscribe

Brice was born and raised Catholic. After enjoying a successful career in technology consulting with Accenture and PriceWaterhouseCoopers in cities across the United States (Dallas, San Francisco, Paris, Abu Dhabi, and London) around the world, he left it to help his Catholic diocese in London, England with a fundraising campaign. The campaign went on to raise over $60 million, the largest sum ever raised for the diocese and in the United Kingdom.

Learning from professional fundraisers, he figured out the basics and then left the diocese to focus on what he loves most: building Catholic charities that change the culture, save lives, and save souls.

Brice currently lives in Texas and travels the world helping Catholics fundraise. This website is where he shares what he is doing and how he is raising funds for Catholic causes and missions. That way you can move more quickly with your next appeal.