Giving Goes Both Ways
Might you have one or two board members who seem reluctant to get involved in icky fundraising? Do some opine that you should cultivate donors less frequently? Turn their objections (and fears) on their heads. If you believe in your cause, it’s a privilege to ask. And it’s a privilege to give. If they don’t think so, perhaps they shouldn’t be on your board.
You have a wonderful opportunity to help them see that when you ask, you honor the donors and give them a chance to have more significance in their lives. You help them go with you where they cannot go on their own.
Who would want to deprive a donor of that joy?
Show donors what they accomplish
But there’s more to it than just asking, isn’t there? We need to not only ask unabashedly, but we must frequently provide smart, timely and consistent reports on what donors are accomplishing through their gifts and through your organization.
- Use your thank-you receipts to reinforce the impact of the gift.
- Fill your newsletters with stories and photos of lives transformed.
- Embed videos (or links) in your e-mails demonstrating the life-giving work of your donors’ dollars in action.
- Provide end-of-year summaries of all that the donors’ gifts have helped accomplish.
- Pepper your website with proof of the power of giving.
- Make your annual report more about donor impact than about your organization.
The beauty is that not only will these communications add significance to your donors’ lives and further reinforce their commitment to your work, but, if they’re done right, people will give even more to these communications as well.
Tom Harrison is chair of Russ Reid, chair of Omnicom’s Nonprofit Group and a member of the FundRaising Success Editorial Advisory Board. Reach him at email@example.com
Tom Harrison is the former chair of Russ Reid and Omnicom's Nonprofit Group of Agencies. He served as chair of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.