Is It Easy for Potential Donors to Connect With You?
Don't make it difficult for potential donors to connect with and contact you. When they go to your website, is it easy for them to find your e-mail and mail addresses and a phone number?
Be sure that your organization presents a personal face — no matter how large or small it is. Does a donor have the opportunity to meet and connect with your CEO, to know whom serves on your board and how to contact you and make a gift?
Is the gift processing cumbersome and more like purchasing a pair of shoes? Or is it an easy, personal experience? Do visitors have the opportunity to make one-time gifts, sign up for monthly giving or make another type of gift commitment? Do they know how to transfer stock or whom to call about a stock transfer and other gifting options?
Is there a face to your development program — again, no matter how large or small? Or do potential donors get lost either with no staff information or among a sea of strange titles (major gifts, stewardship, principal gifts, planned gifts … ouch!) and find it impossible to get an e-mail or phone number? For those who like to slip a check in the mail, is the appropriate address and a contact name handy?
Sue Henderson is president of New Jersey City University and brings a stellar background in academics and advancement to her role. At the bottom of the university website homepage is a link called "I want the president to know," and it pulls up a "Suggestions for President Sue Henderson" form, as well as a physical address and phone number. Nice and easy for donors — and all constituents — to provide feedback or pose a question!
A client recently had a donor volunteer a six-figure gift and even join a campaign steering committee. Our client organization wasn't the donor's first choice. The donor didn't have success in approaching the first choice and moved on — and we are grateful!
Be sure you make it easy for a potential donor to initiate dialogue — ask a question, get information and make a gift. The next time you update your website, get a few donors to let you know how inviting and easy they find it to uncover information and make gifts. You'll be glad they did.
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.