Tip #4 – Thank You Calls

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA

This is part three of a four part series on year-end giving tips.

To read Tip #1, click here.

To read Tip #2, click here.

To read Tip #3, click here.

Many nonprofits receive 40 percent or more of their annual fundraising in the final weeks of the year. Start planning now – don’t wait until it’s too late.

I have a few really hot “tips” for you about year-end giving, but first, here’s the data supporting the “tips.” By sharing these first, my “tips” will be self-evident.

  • Charitable gifts were up 3% last year, and wealthy individuals were responsible for most of the increase.
  • Baby Boomers are today’s major donors. They comprise only 34% of all donors, but are giving 43% of the money.
  • 64% of all charitable gifts are made by women, and older women are more likely to give and give more than their male counterparts.
  • 89% of high net-worth individuals volunteer with nonprofits.

With these four statistics in mind, here we go…

Hot Tip #4

This is the time of the year to ask your trustees to make “Thank You” calls. Hearing “Thank You” from a trustee is very impressive, and donors like it, even if it’s just received as voicemail or a message on an answering machine! Further, we do not express gratitude enough, and increasing your efforts in this regard always boosts returns. Fundraising pioneer Penelope Burk performed the original research that found these amazing results. She’s the originator of “Donor Centered Fundraising,” a fundamental paradigm shift that changes the emphasis away from the organization’s needs and instead focuses on what the donor wants. Penelope Burk shared these statistics on board member “Thank You” calls in her path-breaking book, Donor Centered Fundraising: When donors received a “Thank You” call from a board member within 24 hours of the receipt of the gift, the next time they were solicited they gave 39 percent more than donors who didn’t receive a call. After 14 months, those called were giving 42 percent more. Pretty fantastic tip right?

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