Eight Ways to Raise Money and Keep Donors Happy
Whether you’re raising money through direct mail, an Internet campaign or some other form of direct response, here are some ideas for maximizing your efforts, raising more money and keeping your donors satisfied with their experiences.
1. Choose the right list for your project. Your success rates will depend on reaching the right people.
2. Make sure there is a clear “call to action.” Be sure to spell out what it is you want the donor to do. If you’re sending a letter, include a summary of the action in a P.S.
3. Personalize! Don’t say “Dear Friend …” Failing to personalize a request to each donor is detrimental to your appeal and can send the wrong message. If someone has been donating to your organization for several years, it’s insulting not to address that person by name.
4. Send the “thank you” in the same format as you received the gift. If the gift came through the mail, mail the “thank you.” If it came through the Internet, send an e-mail “thank you.”
5. Send your thank-you letter quickly. Ideally, you should get it out within 48 hours of the receipt of the gift. This lets the donor know that you received the gift, that you appreciate it and that you’re on the ball.
6. In your thank-you letter, tell the donor what you’re doing with the donation. Take advantage of the opportunity to tell the donor how the gift already has been put to use.
7. Let donors choose how often they hear from you. This is important in keeping them happy. Putting donors in control of when they hear from you helps ensure that when you ask them for a gift, they’ll respond. This ultimately boosts your response rates and lowers costs.
8. Let donors choose which part of your program they want their money to be used for. In other words, let them designate. This will tell you where their interests lie, which is very valuable in cultivation! Also, it puts them in control of how their money will be used and gives them a feeling of participation in service delivery.