To learn the answer to this important question, I asked a major donor and this is what I learned:
- It has a one- or two-page summary document clearly outlining the reasons for the project and its benefits.
- It includes information as to who the beneficiaries are and what they have done to help the project.
- There is information on what the “insiders” (board, staff, community, etc.) are sacrificially doing for the project.
- There is a clear ask that is reasonable and specific.
- There is a definitely opportunity to say “No” without emotional consequences.
For further insights from a major donor’s perspective read chapter 21 in People Raising : A Practical Guide to Raising Funds.