leading edge of fundraising

With accurate prospect research on your side, you better ensure the short- and long-term success of your nonprofit organization’s fundraising efforts. A gift range chart is yet another tool at your disposal that can help you make the most of every ask.

To find out how iWave can help you build a reliable gift range chart to streamline your fundraising efforts, schedule a free demo or assessment today!

What Is a Gift Range Chart?

Though most often used as part of a feasibility study during a capital campaign, a gift range chart is adaptable and can be used for a variety of fundraising types. When it comes to executing a fundraising campaign, the more you know, the more power you have to course correct along the way.  

In general, a gift range chart is structured like a pyramid with larger giving amounts at the top.

Though higher giving levels tend to demand significant resources, opening up efforts to the mid and lower ranges creates a well-rounded strategy that will likely yield more gifts.

The more strategic you are from the beginning, the more efficient your campaign will be. Your gift range chart will enable you to determine how much to ask for from whom, as well as help you narrow down your short list of major gift prospects.

Combining your gift range chart with reliable wealth screenings will also give you the necessary insights to make the right gift ask every time. iWave can help here with our personalized onboarding process and unlimited client support.

Getting Started

When conducting your fundraising feasibility study, let your gift range chart guide your efforts. As you begin to plan out your fundraising campaign, proceed with the following steps:

  1. First, determine if your current goal is attainable and make any necessary changes.
  2. Next, set distinct giving levels, along with specific data-driven fundraising asks.
  3. Then, dig into the details of what it will take to reach your fundraising goal.

With a clearer sense of how many prospects you must reach and how much you need to ask for from each one, you’ll be well on your way to building a winning fundraising strategy.

How to Organize Your Gift Range Chart

You gift range chart will be split into distinct giving levels, such as major, midsize, and smaller gifts. The major gifts sit at the top of the gift range chart and will generally have the smallest number of donors.

Moving downward, at the midsize level you should aim for a greater number of donors. Finally, your smallest giving level will include the largest number of donors. Since less people are capable of giving major donations, you’ll need to make up for this by gathering additional smaller contributions.

The next segment of your gift range chart will be the specific range you’ll ask for from each giving level. It will look something like this:

Gift Amount

Number of Gifts

Total Prospects

Cumulative Total

























For convenience and quick analysis, the cumulative total in the final column adds everything up as you go along.

Adjusting Gift Range Charts for Different Campaigns

Keep in mind that the size of your nonprofit, the scope of your fundraising goal, and the campaign you are running will impact the structure of your unique gift range chart.

Particularly for larger campaigns, expect about 80% of your total fundraising to come from merely 20% of donors. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to cut each gift amount in half as you move down your gift range chart. Simultaneously, as you decrease the gift amount, you’ll double and then triple the number of donors at each level.

Some examples of how you might tailor your gift range chart to meet the demands of distinct campaigns include:

  • Crowdfunding: These types of campaigns rely on many lower-level gifts, so be sure to market your fundraising strategy accordingly.
  • Annual Fund: For longer term campaigns like this, channel the majority of your resources into reaching low- and mid-level donors.
  • Capital: When organizing a much larger campaign for a specific cause such as construction of a new building, plan to secure more high-level donations.

Once you’ve determined the breakdown of your gift range chart, the next step will be homing in on prospects at each giving level. Match the number of prospects you identify to the gift level on your gift range chart. In the end, you should have more prospects for high-level donors and fewer at the lowest level.

Use Prospect Research to Build Your Gift Range Chart

Leveraging gift range charts and wealth screenings in your fundraising strategy can lead to more efficient fundraising initiatives throughout the year!

Our nonprofit fundraising platform streamlines the process by combining data such as giving history and biographical and wealth data into one convenient prospect score. With clear major gift prospect rankings, you can quickly identify your top donors at each giving level.

Since no two organizations, fundraising goals, or gift range charts are the same, iWave offers a fully customizable nonprofit fundraising platform. Our prospect research solutions can help your nonprofit build accurate gift range charts to amplify all your fundraising campaigns.

Discover how our platform can set you up for success with a free demo or by scheduling an assessment today!