The Right Moves
3. When building an expense budget to support an annual fund, take perhaps 5 percent of it and create a "Revolving Opportunity Fund." When a good, but unfunded, fundraising idea comes along midyear, invest from the fund. When the revenue comes in, pay back the Opportunity Fund first, then take to the bank the additional dollars. Do this several times per year.
Director of Internet solutions, Blackbaud
1. Always segment.
2. Always use multiple channels.
3. Always test.
4. Always follow up quickly.
5. Always say thank you.
President/creative director, McPherson Associates
Plan a huge "Thanks and Preview of 2012 Programs" in early January 2012 for all 2011 donors — and for all prospects, e.g., e-news subscribers who are not donors.
Fundraising consultant and author, Fired-Up Fundraising
Focus on renewing last year's donors and all your lapsed donors. It's not a great time to go after new donors. And it can cost up to 10 times more to secure a new donor than it does to get a former donor to renew. Look in your donor files for lapsed donors. Add up the dollar value of gifts they've given. After you faint, pick yourself off the floor and go after your lapsed donors with this message: "We love you. We miss you. We want you back!" Who could resist?
Fundraising coach and consultant
1. Keep your eye on the prize: Never forget why you are raising money. You are changing lives and making a difference in the world.
2. It's not about you or your organization.
3. Build relationships.
Executive director, NTEN
Personalize. First name does not count anymore. You better know why I'm involved and what I hope to accomplish with my donation, and you better show me in your messaging. There's just no excuse anymore.