We learn more when we listen than when we talk. Sounds simple, and it’s the basic tenet of donor relationships today. In fundraising, we agonize over the wording of “the ask,” make sure we’re selecting the right people to solicit. We want to be sure event donors aren’t invited to the gala at the same time the fall appeal is to hit mailboxes. How do we motivate a donor to give to a cause/program that’s so very dear to the “XYZ Foundation?” How can we communicate the need - the urgency? All important issues. But not the most important. What’s left?
As the nature and characteristics of various donor-base paradigms evolve, the Internet will be the response medium of choice for a fast-growing number of donors and prospects. Setting up a successful e-mail fundraising program requires patience and investment. Meanwhile, aggressive direct mail probably will remain the core technique, certainly among those whose initial or ongoing gifts have been achieved via this medium. Rather than a replacement, e-fundraising is another tool in the arsenal of cultivation and fundraising programs -- one that will fit both a specific niche as well as a complementary role. Following are some tips for creating, sustaining