Five Things You Must Do to Ensure a Second Gift
Even in a “healthy” fundraising program, only 30 percent of newly acquired donors give again after their original gift! What can you do to keep more of your new donors interested in your cause and eager to support you again and again?
You have a critical window of opportunity to motivate donors to give a second gift — usually within three months of their first gifts. As more time passes, it’s less and less likely that new donors will give again. But if they do, they’re much more likely to turn into generous, loyal supporters.
Here are five essential things you must do to ensure that second gift:
1. Prompt and thoughtful thank-you letters.
These are by far the most important “must do.”
* Send thank-you notes for all first gifts, no matter how small.
* Ideally, send out acknowledgements within one week of receiving a new donor’s gift. Responding quickly shows the donor that you really care. You want to thank her while the act of giving and the strong feelings associated with it are still fresh in her mind.
* Personalize the thank-you letter, and reference the exact gift amount; when you received it; and the campaign that the donor responded to, if possible.
* Write a thank-you letter specifically for new donors — don’t use the standard acknowledgement sent to existing donors. Welcome them to your organization! Focus on how the gift is so much more than a monetary transaction funding a cause.
* Inform the donor what your organization already is doing with the money. Donors want to feel assured that their gift is having a direct, immediate impact.
* Reinforce the approach of the original acquisition touch point. Something magical happened during that experience that motivated the donor to give. Try to re-create that experience within the acknowledgement: The message should be consistent with the original appeal message, and the thank-you signer should match the appeal signer.