Why So Many New-donor Acquisition Efforts Stink
The temptation with this special appeal is to shift your message to one that is more focused on your organization. Don’t succumb to this temptation. Keep your message keenly focused on the urgent fundraising needs that must be met. This is an appeal package, not an organization-information piece.
3. You should call all donors who gave a first gift of $50 or more (or some appropriate minimum threshold) about two weeks after mailing the special appeal in Step 2. Again, your purpose here is to acknowledge the donor’s new relationship with you, affirm his decision to give and request an additional gift.
Steps 1 through 3 should be completed within 30 days of the donor’s first gift. Time is of the essence. The more time that elapses from the first gift, the lower the chances are of receiving a second. Don’t linger, although pressure to do so will be significant. You might hear arguments such as “that donor just gave,” or “we shouldn’t bother them so quickly.”
But statistics of donor behavior show that you need to move very quickly to get a second gift — or your chances are pretty slim. In fact, if you haven’t received a second gift from a new donor within two to four months of her first gift, your chances of ever receiving one drop dramatically.
4. Invite new donors who meet the minimum threshold for the telephone appeal to participate in a live conference call with a senior leader of your organization. A quick postcard with all the necessary dial-in details is a sufficient invitation.
The conference call should be designed to affirm the new donor and explain more broadly why your organization exists and what exactly you’re trying to accomplish. It’s all about providing donors a glimpse of the vital role they play.