Increase Your Fundraising in 2018
It’s 2018. And time to jump right in to fundraising activities.
Before you dive in and expect different results doing more of the same, take a pause and notice what happened last year.
As you review lists of names and donor data, remember that you exist to serve others: your clients and your donors of time and money.
These are real people—not just numbers.
Who are they? What did they do last year? What more could they do this year? Do they know how much you appreciate them?
Know them. Be clear what they’ve made possible. And then communicate that to them.
Inspiring, thoughtful and even personal communication will help you have a better money story to tell in 2018.
5 Key Actions to Take to Increase Your Fundraising Results
Review Donor Data to Learn
- Who didn’t give last year, but has given in past years. If you have a large donor list, you’ll want to choose a starting point for this task like: $1000 plus and more than 10 years of giving. If you have a small (under 500 people) donor list, take a look at every gift and note who has been giving for more than five years.
- Your 2017 first-time supporters. First-time donors are golden. Get excited about them. Let them know you know who they are. Welcome them so warmly they don’t want to leave.
- Identify your top (longest giving and largest) donors. Why care who didn’t make a gift, made a first-time gift or has been giving the longest? Because those contributions are from people. Real people who give, because they care. Inspiring them to keep giving means paying attention to your communication.
Ensuring you have a healthy donor retention rate is critical for a successful, healthy, fundraising program.
If you are focusing on numbers and increasing percentages, you may be missing the point of our work.
Philanthropy Means the Love of Humanity
It’s about caring and nourishing. It’s about the person who takes time to honor their values with a financial contribution. And it’s about the beneficiary in who is able to do something important with the service or goods provided.
Yes, it takes time to review lists of names, know who stopped giving and remember to call them or send them an email or shout out on social media.
What if you look at contributions as acts of love, one dollar at a time?
Let’s not take our donor love for granted. Put less focus on that treadmill of securing more and more new contributions and more on inspiring and keeping those who already love you.
Read on for ways to include others in helping you stay connected to your donors.
Create a Communication Plan
- Have a plan that allows your full board and staff leadership to know the names and faces of your top donors. You don’t have time to call, email or meet with every donor. So enlist your team. The simple act of having your precious supporters noticed and acknowledged will make the difference between that first-time donor making a second gift or becoming a lapsed donor. What to do to make this fun? Adopt this simple donor stewardship activity this year, and watch your donors feel special and your retention rate increase.
- Keep it simple: Regularly update and inspire all “current donors” –those who gave in the past 18 months—with an inspiring mission-moment story that includes details about what it takes to support them.
Our work is about communication that inspires.
Now go. Inspire.
Lori L. Jacobwith, founder of Ignited Fundraising™, is a master storyteller and fundraising culture change expert. With a passion for the positive, she has provided coaching and training for more than 4,500 organizations and 500,000 people. Her work has helped nonprofits raise $300 million from individual donors… and counting.