9. Make the donor the hero
“You’re always going to be tempted to make your organization the hero,” Brooks warned. “But donors don’t give because you’re great; they give because they’re great. It’s all about the donors.”
10. Raise funds online
Everyone is online already anyway, and the channel keeps on growing. While online giving might not be a huge percentage right now, “suddenly, it’s going to be a bigger slice of the pie,” Brooks predicted.
11. Remember, you are wrong
Raising funds isn’t about what you like; it’s about what your donors like … especially considering your donors are probably older than you. Therefore, “everything about you makes you a really bad sounding board,” Brooks said. “Just because you wouldn’t respond doesn’t mean your donors won’t. Learn about your donors, what they respond to … not what you respond to.”
12. Ask more often
“Most organizations are really timid about asking their donors. They have systems about giving rest,” Brooks said. “The more recently somebody gave, the more likely they are to give now. Donors like to give.” So ask them to give. More times than not, they’ll be happy to respond with gifts.
13. Keep asking your best donors
Going hand in hand with No. 12, donors like to give, and you should keep asking those who give the most.
14. Send receipts faster
“We live in an instant-gratification society. It’s got to be that way with your receipts,” Brooks said.
15. Give your donors choices
“When you give donors choice, they give more often, they give larger gifts and they stay longer,” he said. “It’s the nearest thing to magic that I know of in fundraising.”
16. Repeat yourself
Repetition, repetition, repetition. Brooks suggested to ask a bunch of times in a single letter, and don’t be afraid to ask the same thing.