8 Fundraising Ninja Tricks
They say ninjas are people with such well-developed fighting skills that they appear to have supernatural abilities. The moment you notice that dark shape flitting along the ceiling … but before you can tell what it is … zip! A ninja has swooped down, stolen your wallet, taken off your shoes and replaced them with goofy clown shoes, and disappeared. Leaving a vague odor of incense.
You may not realize it, but there are fundraising ninjas too. They're a lot like regular ninjas but less buff and a lot slower-moving. Also, they are somewhat less terrifying.
But they do possess seemingly magical powers: Zing! Response rate is up 12 percent! Whoosh! Donor retention rates are in the top quartile for your charity sector! Zap! Your tired old address labels are now getting a great average gift! That's the awesome power of a fundraising ninja.
Here are eight tricks from fundraising ninja masters. I can't guarantee you'll attain full fundraising ninja status just from reading this column, but these ninja techniques just might give ordinary people the impression that you have special fundraising powers.
1. Have a newsletter
The newsletter is the throwing star of the fundraising ninja. It slices through donor retention problems — and often does so while raising superb net revenue.
To do its "magic," it has to be a donor-focused newsletter: That's where you complete the circle, proving to donors that their giving makes a difference.
You do this with dramatic stories about the great things that happen because donors give. Every story makes it clear that it was possible "because of your giving." It's a powerful way to encourage donor connection with your cause — they'll stay with you because they know they're making a difference.
It doesn't work if your newsletter is a brag-a-thon about how great your organization is. A newsletter like that is nothing like a throwing star; you might as well fling blobs of cookie dough at your foe.