Engage, Then Ask
3. Make the connection between women who volunteer for or are otherwise active in your organization and their giving potential. Even if you don’t have a women’s alliance, you do have a database. How do you list your donors? Who pays attention to the name on the check? Who follows up with the consistent annual women donors in the $100 to $250 range? Take the time to identify 100 in that group, assess their capacity, invite them to learn more about your organization and engage them. For example, a Midwest nonprofit hired a consultant to develop a planned-giving program. In analyzing the database, the consultant found 500 women donors over the age of 50 who had made annual gifts for three or more years. Within two years that nonprofit raised $6 million in planned gifts and pledges.
4. Consider generational differences. Develop targeted mailings, programs and events to engage women from different generations. Baby boomer women might have different expectations of your agency than older or younger women.
5. Engage women donors. Some women, in their business and professional life, seek to be involved with nonprofits to network and/or socialize with like-minded women. Women’s giving circles have proliferated and achieved considerable success around the country, in part because they offer opportunities for networking, socializing and engagement.
As fundraisers seek to move women donors up the giving ladder, they might offer a variety of programs and events to better connect donors to the organization. These might take the form of special educational programs on philanthropic values or financial literacy. Focus groups about how the nonprofit meets a community need enable women donors to become more familiar with the organization and its role in the community. Networking gatherings coupled with after-hours, behind-the-scene tours and opportunities to interact with clients/students are tested ways to engage donors.