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Abacus Launches Major Donor Ask Calculator

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For Immediate Release

Media Contact
Larry Raff, Abacus, (617) 608-9185

A new paradigm to prepare for gift conversations and predict pledge outcomes

BOSTON, MA (September 12, 2023) — Abacus, an emerging provider of paradigm-changing fundraising tech for nonprofits, announces the launch of the Major Donor Ask Calculator. The Ask Calculator is a powerful tool that picks up where philanthropic capacity estimates from wealth estimation services and other donor research leave off. It allows fundraisers to determine bold yet respectful Asks that they can confidently request from major donors to maximize pledges. Abacus is now available via a free 7-day unlimited trial and paid subscriptions for fundraisers and nonprofit consultants.

The Major Donor Ask Calculator is a web-based application that dramatically improves the methodology and reliability of determining how much to Ask major donors for gifts and planning campaigns. It helps nonprofit fundraisers overcome personal bias and make sense of the morass of research they have on their prospective major donors.  Nonprofit clients have valued the Calculator as a desktop application for over five years.

Abacus Founder and creator Larry Raff said, “We are thrilled to bring the Major Donor Ask Calculator to the broader nonprofit community. This paradigm-changing resource overcomes the challenges of using imperfect philanthropic capacity estimates and the inherent bias fundraisers often have about money and wealth. We believe the Ask Calculator will be a game-changer for organizations that rely on major donors to fund their missions and programs.”

The Ask Calculator is easy to use and provides fundraisers with a structured, reliable method to determine a Pledge Ask amount that is aspirational yet respectful to donors. A Readiness Score helps fundraisers understand if they have sufficient donor information to start a successful gift conversation. A Pledge Goal provides an expected amount that fundraising teams can rely on for planning. Tips and guidance for making the Ask and closing the gift accompany the Results. A robust library of calculated donor profiles provides a variety of analytics to track success, as well as aggregate multiple user results for planning purposes.

The Ask Calculator uses a proprietary algorithm that draws upon Founder Larry Raff’s 40 years as an advancement executive and consultant. It considers various objective factors, including donor giving history, wealth, and organization-specific engagement. The result is an Ask amount that is bold yet respectful, credible, and defendable. 

In real-world evaluations, philanthropic capacity estimates from wealth estimation services — the current gold-standard source of donor information — were a considerable 250% off from Actual Pledges. The Ask Calculator’s expected Goal was accurate within 2%, and the aspirational Ask within 40% of Actual Pledges, respectively.

Founder and CEO David Garamella of The Giving Collaborative said, “At last, there is a reliable process for fundraisers to determine Asks and predict campaign feasibility! We are eager to use Abacus with our nonprofit clients to maximize their major donor fundraising and campaign outcomes.”

Abacus predictive accuracy gives fundraisers a superior planning tool. Advancement teams can profile their top campaign donor candidates to determine if there are sufficient potential contributions for undertaking a campaign to save time, money, and donor goodwill. Using Abacus, they can also value their donor pipeline to make staffing and strategy decisions and set key performance indicators for improved team performance.

The Ask Calculator is available now on the Abacus website. Individuals and organizations can sign up for a free 7-day unlimited-use trial to see how the tool works and how it can specifically benefit their fundraising efforts. Monthly subscriptions are available for single users and fundraising teams at hospitals, higher education, performing arts, human services, and other nonprofit sectors, as well as for consultants who serve them. Private one-on-one training, instructional videos, and other major donor fundraising resources accompany the service.

For more information about the Abacus Major Donor Ask Calculator, please visit

About Abacus

Abacus is an emerging fundraising tech provider of paradigm-changing donor development and management tools for nonprofit fundraisers. Its first product, the Major Donor Ask Calculator, was born out of Copley Raff’s Master Gift Officer™ program, credited with providing transformational insights that vastly improve major gift performance. Abacus was formed through a strategic investment from Copley Raff.

For more information, visit

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