What is a Gift Table?

When it comes to fundraisers, you can’t expect donors to stick to a universal amount. You can, however, determine who can give the most and who may give the least. Either way, each donation goes a long way toward supporting your cause. To do this, you need to pull out your list of donors and construct a gift table.

Often used in capital campaigns, a gift table breaks down donation amounts based on gifts and prospects for various nonprofit activities. It looks something like this:

Gift Level

No. of Gifts

Estimated Prospects

Amount

$100,000

1

2

$100,000

$50,000

3

6

$150,000

$25,000

5

10

$125,000

$10,000

8

16

$80,000

$5,000

12

24

$60,000

$1,000

16

32

$16,000

TOTAL

45

$531,000

A gift table can give you a fair assessment; after all, you can’t expect everyone to give you $11,800 and help you reach your fundraising goal. The gift table takes into account each donor’s ability to donate to the cause without breaking the bank. The example above should only be used as reference. There’s no universal format in making a gift table.

With a gift table, you can also determine the number of gifts necessary to achieve a goal. For example, if nobody in the list is capable of donating $100,000, you’ll have to step down your gift levels and look for more gifts. As a rule of thumb, the top-tier gift level should be no more than 10 percent of the goal and must represent a realistic outcome.

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