What Can K, L, M, N and O Teach Us?
L is for listen
Your donors are constantly talking to you, even when they are silent. (“Just why did Mrs. Smith stop donating after giving consistently for five years?”) Read their notes, talk to them on the phone and visit with them (not just the major donors). Knowing who you are talking to in your fundraising is essential if you’re going to communicate, and hearing from them what they truly love about your work helps you message around what’s important to your donors, not just to your internal audiences. Knowledge of your donors is a powerful tool!
Sue had a great suggestion for “L,” as well: “Leave out the unnecessary details.” We don’t need to tell our donors everything. I contend the length of the copy isn’t as important as whether or not it keeps moving. Edit aggressively, and take out the “nice to know” that isn’t “need to know.”
M is for maximize
Whether it’s your budget, your website or anything else in fundraising, look for ways to maximize its value. For example, you’re paying First Class postage to mail a receipt; are you filling that envelope with important messages (reminders about memorial gifts, bequest requests, late-breaking news, etc.) right up to the one-ounce point?
Are you showcasing your greatest stories and photos both on your website and in your communications? Never assume they have already been seen and read by your donors; different people look at different mediums at different times. Which is a perfect segue into Sue’s “M” — mobile.
She wrote, “People are checking your Internet site and e-mails on their mobile devices. Format to load quickly and fit a small screen.”
Great advice! Maximize as many of the formats you can so your donors can find you and “hear” from you where they are.
Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant focused on direct response. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.