There Must Be 50 Ways …
28. Rethink donor clubs. Don’t hesitate to cancel them if they aren’t improving net income. Reabsorb the members into your main mailstream, but honor their commitment with closed-face envelopes, personal letters, etc.
29. Find the contact methodology that meets the donor’s needs and is most likely to result in continued partnership. For example, a major donor to an organization we work with sent $50,000 every January when she received the direct-mail piece with a matching-grant offer. Instead of a visit, the representative started calling her to give her a “heads-up” that the mailing was on the way.
30. Promote planned giving in your receipts. A simple insert can spark interest and bring in leads.
31. Ask participants for endorsements you can print. We all like additional confirmation from people just like us.
32. Test before including planned-giving messages in fundraising appeals. Sending mixed messages could hurt response.
33. Thank them with special receipts. Be as warm and welcoming as possible, and reaffirm that supporting you was a wise decision.
34. If possible, have a separate welcome mailing. It’s another opportunity to say “thank you” and provide information about your charity.
35. Consider a small, mission-appropriate premium (a bookmark, for example) for donors who give second gifts within 60 days. Promote this with a small insert in the first receipt.
36. Receipt the first gift, no matter how small.
37. At a predetermined threshold, call just to say “thank you.”
38. Test sending a postcard with a special need. Make the front of it colorful and exciting. Drive responses online or to a toll-free number.
39. Survey to find out why they stopped giving. Use the information to improve your program.
40. Be aggressive; start re-upping before they lapse. Calls and letters reminding them it’s been almost a year since they last gave are proven ways to keep donors from lapsing.