13 SMART Goals Examples for Major Gift Officers

The world of major gift fundraising requires thoughtful, creative solutions to generate large donations. Having well-defined goals can help individuals focus their efforts and maximize their impact.

This article will provide various examples of SMART goals for major gift officers to achieve greater success in their work. They will be able to propel their career to incredible heights.

What is a SMART Goal?

The SMART system can enable major gift officers to establish practical goals for success. In case you didn’t know, SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

Let’s deep dive into each SMART component:


If you aim too high but don’t define exactly what you want to accomplish, your efforts may be scattered or unfocused. But when you set well-defined goals, you’ll be able to make meaningful progress toward your desired destination.


Major gift officers are at the forefront of fundraising efforts for any nonprofit organization, tasked with securing large donations from individuals and corporations. Completing fundraising goals can be daunting without metrics to track progress.

That’s why you must prioritize measurable outcomes and integrate them into your strategy. By aligning fundraising efforts with these factors, you can set targets directly contributing to long-term success.


While it may be tempting to create lofty aspirations, it’s key to take a step back and consider what you’re capable of in the short and long term. This doesn’t mean you should underestimate your abilities, but rather create milestones that ultimately lead you to greatness.


Pursuing goals that align with your core beliefs makes it easier to remain inspired even during difficult times.

Begin by understanding what truly matters to you. Ask yourself questions such as: What are my core beliefs? What brings me fulfillment? Once you have clarity, you can push through obstacles along the way.


A robust timeline serves as a roadmap for your journey and a tool to prevent procrastination. Be sure to include both short-term and long-term objectives to celebrate small wins while keeping sight of the bigger picture.

13 SMART Goals Examples for Major Gift Officers

You can look at 13 examples of SMART goals for major gift officers:

1. Increase Major Gift Revenue

“To increase major gift revenue to the organization, I will cultivate new major donors from our prospect pool and engage existing donors meaningfully. I plan to bring in an average of $300,000 in major gifts over the next year.”

Specific: The goal is clear. The individual knows they must bring an average of $300,000 in major gifts over the next year.

Measurable: You can track the amount of funds brought in by month or quarter.

Attainable: This is feasible if you reach out to potential donors and retain existing ones.

Relevant: The statement fits the organization’s desire to increase gift revenue.

Time-based: Goal attainment will be met within one year.

2. Strengthen Donor Relationships

“I’ll build stronger relationships with major donors by having one-on-one meetings every other week. During these meetings, I will focus on having an open dialogue about our objectives and how we can best use the donor’s resources to achieve them.”

Specific: The goal is clear and concise, specifying precisely what needs to be accomplished.

Measurable: The meetings will provide feedback on whether stronger relationships are being built.

Attainable: Make sure you have scheduled meetings with each donor and engage in meaningful dialogue.

Relevant: This is pertinent because it helps build strong relationships with donors and will result in more successful fundraising efforts.

Time-based: Consider this an ongoing effort you pursue every other week.

3. Boost Visibility in Community

“I want to be more involved in my local community by volunteering at least one day each month. I hope to boost our organization’s visibility in the local community by participating in events and forging relationships with nonprofits.”

Specific: You want to volunteer and boost your organization’s visibility.

Measurable: Count the number of volunteering days and events you attended.

Attainable: Volunteering is an achievable goal, especially if you are committed to it.

Relevant: Boosting visibility in your local community is beneficial to your organization.

Time-based: You should ideally accomplish this goal once a month.

4. Develop Fundraising Strategies

“I will develop a list of potential fundraising strategies for the upcoming year. I’ll include direct mail and online marketing efforts, personal visits to potential donors, grant writing, and any other tactics that can be used to increase revenue.”

Specific: The SMART goal is to list potential fundraising strategies.

Measurable: You should count the number of fundraising strategies created over time.

Attainable: It’s possible to create a comprehensive list of potential fundraising strategies with some research.

Relevant: A comprehensive list of potential fundraising strategies will benefit the organization by increasing revenue.

Time-based: There is a one-year end date for reaching success.

5. Meet with Prospective Donors

“I’ll meet with 12 prospective major donors every quarter to boost the likelihood of successful fundraising and build relationships within the community. I will monitor the number of meetings held, donation amounts, and contact information.”

Specific: The goal is clearly laid out and includes what needs to be done.

Measurable: You can track the number of meetings held, donation amounts, and contact info.

Attainable: This is doable if the officer puts in the effort to meet with 12 prospective donors quarterly.

Relevant: Meeting with prospective donors is essential for successful fundraising and can help build relationships within the community.

Time-based: The statement has a quarterly timeline attached to it.

6. Identify New Sources of Funding

“I want to use data from existing relationships to identify new funding sources over the next 8 months. I hope to uncover at least 10 potential new funding sources aligned with our organization’s values and mission.”

Specific: The person wants to identify 10 new funding sources aligned with their organization’s values and mission.

Measurable: Determine the number of new sources identified to measure progress.

Attainable: This SMART goal is feasible if you take the time to research existing relationships.

Relevant: Identifying new funding sources is valuable for any organization looking to expand its reach.

Time-based: Goal attainment is expected after 8 whole months.

7. Streamline Fundraising Processes

“To improve efficiency and reduce costs, I will review our organization’s fundraising processes and identify improvement areas. I’ll then propose a new strategy that streamlines the process and optimizes fundraising efforts by the end of four months.”

Specific: Identify and review existing processes, then propose a new streamlined strategy.

Measurable: Ensure that your new strategy is fully implemented within four months.

Attainable: This statement should be possible if you dedicate yourself to the task.

Relevant: Making processes more efficient and cost-effective is vital for successful fundraising.

Time-based: You should have the new strategy in place by the end of four months.

8. Take Advantage of Technology

social media

“I will integrate donor management software, social media tools, and other related technology into our fundraising processes within 9 months. That will allow us to increase our effectiveness as a team, ensuring we maximize the impact of each gift.”

Specific: This SMART goal is to use technology to increase team effectiveness.

Measurable: You should follow the listed action items to reach success as a major gift officer.

Attainable: Software integration is a realistic goal that can be achieved within 9 months.

Relevant: Using technology to maximize the impact of each gift is highly pertinent to your job.

Time-based: You have 9 whole months to meet goal completion.

9. Improve Proposal Writing Skills

“I will attend a workshop on proposal writing by the end of three months. After attending, I want to be able to write more effective and successful proposals that will help secure major gifts.”

Specific: The person has identified a workshop to attend and wants to be able to write proposals.

Measurable: Assess progress by attending the workshop as planned and writing a few successful proposals.

Attainable: Attending a workshop can be feasible within three months.

Relevant: Improvement of proposal writing can help secure funding, making this goal suitable.

Time-based: Three months are required to accomplish lasting success.

10. Set Philanthropic Priorities

“I aim to align the organization’s philanthropic priorities with current trends and needs in our local community. To do this, I will research local giving patterns and analyze the impact of our current philanthropic activities on the community within three months.”

Specific: The goal is well-defined, detailing the objective and how it will be attained.

Measurable: Researching local giving patterns and analyzing the impact of current philanthropic activities will provide data to gauge progress.

Attainable: Gathering data on local giving patterns and analyzing the impact of current philanthropic activities is achievable.

Relevant: Aligning philanthropic priorities with current trends and needs in the local community is important for the organization’s impact.

Time-based: There is a three-month timeline for completing this goal.

11. Enhance Donor Retention Rate

“By the end of 8 months, I will improve our donor retention rate by 10%. I plan to research current donors and create targeted campaigns to keep them engaged. I’ll also use data-driven insights and analytics to understand our audiences better.”

Specific: The aim is to improve the donor retention rate by 10% over 8 months.

Measurable: Ensure you count the donors who continue to give regularly.

Attainable: This is doable when researching current donors and creating targeted campaigns to keep them engaged.

Relevant: Increasing the donor retention rate is crucial because it can help to maintain a steady income stream.

Time-based: Goal achievement is expected within the next 8 months.

12. Optimize Giving Opportunities

“Over the 5 months ahead, I want to research and review existing charitable giving opportunities and create a well-defined strategy to optimize fundraising efforts by connecting donors to the most impactful causes.”

Specific: The goal statement outlines the desired result, a strategy, and a deadline.

Measurable: Make sure you create a list of successful giving opportunities and develop a plan to connect donors.

Attainable: Researching existing options and creating a strategy should be possible within the given timeline.

Relevant: The SMART goal focuses on fundraising optimization, which is an essential aspect of gift giving.

Time-based: You should accomplish this particular statement after 5 months.

13. Track Outreach Efforts

“I’ll set up a tracking system to monitor the outreach efforts within two months. This will help us identify the most successful techniques and which areas need improvement. The system should be able to track emails, phone calls, meetings, and events.”

Specific: The goal is explicit because it describes how to track outreach efforts on a regular basis.

Measurable: You could measure the effectiveness of outreach efforts by following emails, phone calls, meetings, and events.

Attainable: Setting up a tracking system is absolutely doable, given the provided time frame.

Relevant: Following outreach efforts is appropriate for helping identify successful techniques.

Time-based: There is a two-month window to reach this goal statement.

Final Thoughts

Setting SMART goals allow major gift officers to boost their donor base and cultivate relationships productively. To get the best possible results, it’s vital to track progress and adjust the goals accordingly.

When combined with a focus on nurturing relationships with prospective donors, the SMART method can enable you to reach ideal outcomes. So take the time to create goals and put your plan into action.

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