The Right Moves
Senior partner, Veritus Group
1. Focus on your donors. Know them, understand their passion and why they give to your organization.
2. Be disciplined with the core of your fundraising program. It's easy to be distracted with "new and exciting" tactics that do not raise revenue.
3. You must have joy in your work. Fundraising is hard. If you don't enjoy your work it will affect the quality of your work, your co-workers' work and your donors.
Freelance copywriter and creative strategist
1. Don't cut the acquisition program out of your budget entirely to hit this year's numbers; it's a short-term fix that will cost you (potentially a lot) years out.
2. Don't be afraid to send more appeals; just be sure you have the segmentation right.
3. Fix whatever is preventing you from raising more money (messy donor records or the crappy, limping-along database, etc.).
President, Mail Enterprises
Hold on to what works, but always be testing.
1. Know your donor! And remember that he or she is not you. You cannot afford to project your personal feelings, tastes or preferences onto your donor. Empathy — truly seeing through your donor's eyes does more to help build a strong relationship than all the premiums or fancy creative in the world.
2. Donors really only want one thing: to feel good about helping you fulfill your mission. Everything you do to enhance that feeling will raise results. Anything you do to dampen that feeling will suppress results.
3. Integration isn't just for media. It's unfortunate that, this late in the game, so many organizations have yet to tear down the silos between development, marketing, online and other departments.