Are Your Major Donors Qualified?
2. If the donor meets your giving metric, then it's time to qualify. Here is a way to do it:
- Introductory letter. Explain who you are, thanking the donor for past support, that you want to contact the donor about her interest in X organization and that you will be calling within the next week.
- Phone call. In the phone call, you tell the prospect you're following up your letter, that you have been assigned as his personal representative, you thank the donor for all his past support and you would love to get to know what the donor is most passionate about in regard to your organization. If the donor is forthcoming, try and find out what other organizations she loves, why she likes your organization, how she would like to be communicated with in the future and, if appropriate, ask if the donor can sit down to meet with you sometime.
- Survey letter. If you cannot get a hold of the donor on the phone after a few tries, leave a message letting him know you called and give your phone number. If after a week you do not hear back, we advise sending out another personal letter asking for the donor's feedback in a personal survey. This survey asks questions about the donor's passions, what he likes about the organization, what programs he likes the most, how he wants to be communicated to, etc. Basically, all that you were going to ask in the phone call. Make sure you send a stamped reply envelope to make it easy for the donor to respond.
- Final note card. If you still haven't heard from the donor, you may want to send one final note card, handwritten, asking the donor how she would like to be communicated with, and let her know your contact information.
- Final phone call. We would reserve this for those high-dollar donors that you have yet to hear from.
If you like baseball, tennis, golf, Gregorian chant, jazz, rock, good wine and deep conversation, then you’ll like to hang out with Jeff.
If you are passionate about fundraising, Jeff will inspire you to be a true “broker of love” for your donors, helping you bring together a donor’s desire to change the world and the world’s greatest needs. Jeff believes that if nonprofits truly want to grow and obtain more net revenue for their mission, it will come through creating, building and successfully managing major-gift programs. The Connections blog will give you inspiration and practical advice to help you succeed. Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit fundraising experience and is senior partner of the Veritus Group.