Year-End Giving: Renewing or Refreshing?
The very best benefit of donor renewal? It’s the friendships that you make along the way. As I often say, fundraising is about people, not money.
Making it work — it takes both
At this point, I’m sure it’s fairly clear that acquiring new donors and renewing most of your current investors are both important — even critical activities. Hopefully, you’re also convinced that these two activities are inseparable and interdependent with one another. You may even be saying, “Enough, already. This is common sense!” And it is — in principle. In practice, however, such an awareness is virtually absent from the fundraising landscape. Not to put too fine a point on it, but how do your efforts really stack up?
If you think I am exaggerating, consider the recent fundraising effectiveness study by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. As part of the ongoing research on the productivity and overall effectiveness of fundraising programs across the charitable spectrum, the AFP report details the fact that despite gains in giving due to donor acquisition, virtually all of those gains are erased due to poor or nonexistent donor retention efforts.
So, when you’re frantically rushing about making year-end appeals for that all-important 40 percent, pause to recall the question posed in the first verse of Auld Lang Syne: “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind?” Answer with a resounding, “No!” and repeat the chorus: “For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne. We'll take a cup o' kindness yet, For auld lang syne.” In doing so, you’ll have both plenty of friends and plenty of investments. Cheers!
Larry C. Johnson is a nationally recognized speaker and consultant in philanthropy and is the author of “The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising.”
©2012 M E Grace & Associates. Used by permission.
An internationally recognized philanthropy and fundraising thought leader, Larry C. Johnson trains the staff and volunteers of worthy causes to achieve real impact through the creation of reliable, growing revenue streams. He emphasizes principles before methods as the key to long-lasting success. He stresses the simple, the practical and the joyful.
Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles, the premier brand for educational products and services in relational fundraising and philanthropy. The Eight Principles provides digital education, live workshops and structured coaching to nonprofit organizations.
Author of the award-winning book, "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising," AFP named Larry Outstanding Development Executive in 2010. The Wall Street Business Network ranks him in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the USA. Larry is a graduate of Yale University. Larry speaks widely and serves on numerous nonprofit and corporate boards, including The Philanthropy Council of The Carter Center, the philanthropy of the 39th President of the U.S.