An Interview with Jenni Henry, development manager, Girls on the Run
We are also looking into electronic appeals as a way to reach potential donors. We capture a lot of e-mail addresses at various events, and in many cases it's the only way to get in touch with people.
FS: How would you describe your fundraising philosophy?
JH: My fundraising philosophy is constant communication with our supporters. I feel that people are more likely to give if they feel a connection to the organization, so I think it's important to always keep all donors and potential donors posted on achievements, news and upcoming events. Donors are more likely to give if they know that their money is being put to good use.
I also believe in asking for donations often. It seems obvious, but people aren't going to give unless they are asked. There is a fine line between asking often and bombarding your donors with appeals, but I think that giving donors a lot of opportunity to give (and at various levels) will increase both the number of donors and the dollar amount given.
FS: How do you reach out to supporters and potential supporters in ways other than purely fundraising? Are you engaged with social-media sites like MySpace, Facebook etc., and online social networking?
JH: We send out an e-newsletter every two weeks to all our donors, friends, volunteers and program participants, and share updates about our program and the latest milestones we've reached. By always keeping our supporters up to date on our happenings, we give them a sense of involvement and a reason to give. We hold a number of events that are not fundraising-focused, such as our 5K races and Volunteer Appreciation Parites. Other events have a much lower ticket price and are used more for cultivation, such as our Associate Board Wine Tasting. We also have a Facebook page that we update regularly, and we use it to invite attendees to events and post pictures.