5 Steps to the Second Gift
Also ask for a second gift. An effective acknowledgment program can generate 8 percent to 10 percent or more of your program’s revenue. So ask!
Ask your new donors a few quick questions via a brief checkbox list to understand their interests and personal connection to your cause. Also, give new donors the opportunity to sign up for your e-newsletter and event announcements.
For larger gifts, send handwritten notes from your nonprofit’s leader. And include contact information for a real donor-services person.
Tip: Thank-you calls have been proven to increase retention and average gift, raising retention rates in the second year and keeping them elevated in the third year.
Call donors to personally thank them. Get staff and volunteers to help if you can’t afford an outside service. Start with those donors who give higher-value gifts ($50, $100). Try to call as many donors as you can, even at lower-dollar gift levels. A phone conversation is a great opportunity to ask questions, introduce a monthly giving offer and propose a second gift.
An alternative is a prerecorded, automated call from your organization’s leader, thanking and welcoming new donors.
Step 2: Within two weeks
Send a new-donor welcome kit. A welcome kit recognizes your donor’s status as a new and much appreciated friend. Send it within two weeks of the gift. Include a brochure about your programs. Surprise and delight donors with small tokens of appreciation such as membership or supporter cards; decals or magnets; or bookmarks, charms or key chains. Feature a “soft ask” for another gift in the letter, and include a reply card and return envelope.
You can create an online version of welcome kits too, with the letter, brochure, links to more in-depth content on your website, and a video message from your leadership and staff. Get creative — offer posters, infographics and other interesting digital assets that you already have or could repurpose.