Donor Relationship Management

Start Spreadin' the News
July 1, 2004

Newsletters, especially of the online variety, allow fundraisers to build and maintain relationships with stakeholders long before they even think about anteing up the greenbacks. Donors and prospects alike can now get engaged more often, and with more personal relevance — making it easier and more cost effective for nonprofits to forge links with individuals primed for giving.

Mastering the Virtual Handshake
May 1, 2004

Suppose a new or potential donor visits your Web site looking for more information about your organization. She finds an online tool called “My Guide” that promises to give her just what she’s looking for. After spending less than two minutes providing some simple, personal information, she clicks the “Submit” button.

What Women Want
March 1, 2004

The 1990s marked a turning point in how nonprofit organizations regard women donors — as a financially high-powered cadre poised to give unprecedented amounts of time and money to charity.

Be Persistent, Not Pushy
January 1, 2004

There’s a reason many charities are reluctant to engage in techniques to upgrade their donors — or fail to do so altogether. Call it the “fear factor.”

They’re afraid donors will get irritated and stop sending gifts. They’re afraid a donor will give the upgrade letter to a board member and complain about the “pressure.”

Be not afraid. I bring you tidings of great joy. Fact: It has never been proven by any reliable statistical measurement that reasonable upgrading techniques will result in a substantial attrition of the donor file.

African Americans
January 1, 2004

African Americans currently make up 13 percent of the population, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. In 1990, the bureau charted the African-American community to grow by 68 percent before 2030. But despite this growing demographic — currently 38.3 million individuals representing a buying power of $631 billion — many majority nonprofit organizations have only recently begun focusing efforts on soliciting support from the black community.

A Closer Look at Models
January 1, 2004

The past few years have proven to be challenging for direct marketing fundraising. When you consider the 2001 terror attacks and the ensuing questions about dispersement of funds contributed as a result, Anthrax scares, the war on terrorism, corporate distrust, the recent Catholic Church opprobrium and the troubled economy, it’s no surprise that fundraisers have felt left out in the cold.

Feeding the Need
January 1, 2004

It’s a development office’s dream: You’re a nice-sized nonprofit and you score some big corporate and foundation partners who start throwing money at you.

Sweet. Lots more cash in your coffers. Lots more people getting help.

But what about when those project grants time out? If you’ve put too many of your fundraising eggs into that big-ticket basket, you might find yourself a yolk or two short of an omelet somewhere down the line.

Gentle Persuaders
November 1, 2003

It’s a stunningly perfect, late-summer day in the nation’s capital, and Carsten Walter is doing his best Homer Simpson impression — though maybe not on purpose. The affable, animated Walter slaps the heel of his hand against his forehead, rolls his eyes and explains how certain “duh moments” play into his work as director of membership programs at D.C.’s venerable Heritage Foundation.

Donor Focus
November 1, 2003

Once considered haphazard and uncoordinated, international relief and rescue efforts have come into their own as vital fundraising campaigns. Whether responding to the grave effects of a natural disaster or to the plight of malnourished children in third-world countries, organizations such as American Red Cross, CARE, UNICEF, Food for the Hungry, International Rescue Committee and a host of others have heeded the global call.