10 Foolproof Fundraising Tactics
The economy … well … sucks at the moment! But does that really mean nobody is giving? Nope! Fundraising is alive and well and even thriving. I have 10 tips to help you get your share of the money that's going around.
But before I do that, I want to stress that while giving hasn't stopped, the mind-set in the economy definitely has shifted. People are more cautious about opening their wallets for anything and are bombarded by all sorts of commercial messages asking for their discretionary dollars. Unfortunately, this is a cut-throat, competitive market, and those that are most worthy don't necessarily get their fair share.
That means you have to step up your game when it comes to communicating with your potential donors. The good news is that you don't have to resort to any sort of unsavory, strong-arm tactics. You can be very competitive just by forging better relationships with your "market." Now, here are 10 ways to do that.
1. Practice donor love
A key concept in business says that a loyal customer is worth 10 times more than a new customer. Develop a sound stewardship system that ensures your thank-you letters get out the door within 48 hours. Communicate with your donors on a weekly or monthly basis, and keep it consistent. Donors prefer to be kept notified on a timely basis in a simple manner rather than receive a glossy magazine publication (that makes them wonder what the heck you're doing with their money) once every two years. A two- to four-page quarterly newsletter is ideal. No e-mail newsletter? It's time to start!
Set aside time every week to phone and visit key donors one on one. Don't make that age-old mistake of only querying your donor database for your largest donors; pull up your most loyal donors and thank them — profusely. Survey them, create a low-cost event to honor them, ask them for their opinions on your legacy campaign mailing … you get the picture!
Pamela Grow is the publisher of The Grow Report, the author of Simple Development Systems and the founder of Simple Development Systems: The Membership Program and Basics & More fundraising fundamentals e-courses. She has been helping small nonprofits raise dramatically more money for over 15 years, and was named one of the 50 Most Influential Fundraisers by Civil Society magazine, and one of the 40 Most Effective Fundraising Consultants by The Michael Chatman Giving Show.