Transcript: Hello, this is Laurence. Did you know that first-time donors who receive a personal thank you within 48 hours of your having received their gift are four times more likely to give again? Four times more likely to give again. Wow. Just because you said thank you. That statistic blew me away. It tells me that the personal touch in fundraising is definitely worth it. This means that you probably want to pick up that phone after donations are made and say thanks for giving. “We noticed that you gave and we appreciated it.” Should you do that
Category: Donor Communications
“If the only prayer you ever said was thank you, that would be enough.” Meister Eckhart A modest gift arrived from a donor who I had hoped would give more. My Chief Development Officer saw my frown, closed the office door and sat down. “Laurence”, he said, “every gift, no matter the size, is important. He didn’t have to give us anything.” That was 28 years ago when I was the CEO of a large nonprofit. I recall the sting of that lesson often. I was schooled about gratitude. I don’t think we talk enough about gratitude and how
In this digital age, the main comment I hear from donors about our book-length nonprofit annual report is that “no one actually reads them, right?” Sadly, it’s true, but like many nonprofits today, we’re adopting new conventions to more effectively communicate with our donors. Succinct annual reports are replacing the old fashion book-length version, and are designed to be a fast read (or view), and more conveniently shared. These pieces are 100% donor-centered and pack an emotional punch meant to create greater impact with less content.
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” Meister Eckhart The optimal time to do your Thank-A-Thon is a few days before – you guessed it –Thanksgiving. You should consider “Thanks Bonanza” to be the official kickoff of your entire year-end drive, and your preparation should begin now. You can either do it the old fashion way, by making phone calls, or by using a texting message service. I prefer the latter, but there’s merit to the former. Both methods are intended for donors who have at least one gift
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
As you write a new donor appeal letter (or email), close your eyes and see the donor. See their smile, speak their name, blink at them, and make it real. This process is very important, because writing and speaking directly to the donor, in a conversational tone, simply produces greater financial returns, not to mention that it’s more genuine. You may be tempted to lapse into a story about a client and that’s okay, but tell the story as if the donor were sitting before you over a cup of coffee. Tell them how their gift made an impact on
I’m beginning to think the old-fashioned phone call is going the way of the hand-written letter: ancient history! With texting, tweeting, and email as the easy, quick alternatives, picking up the phone and having a two-way, voice-to-voice conversation with a real human being feels almost scary. Yet it is precisely what is needed to develop and maintain donor relationships. That genuine dialog is at the heart of donor cultivation—it’s the magic. If you plan to use the Benevon Model for its intended purpose—to engage and develop relationships with lifelong individual donors and build towards long-term financial sustainability, then some members
The Call Report is an effective tool to record observations and strategies following a donor (or prospective donor) meeting. Used well, it serves the dual purposes of recording information and documenting the necessary follow up actions. The resulting document is saved electronically and/or in a paper file for future reference. The template for the Call Report is simple: (1) List attendees and their various roles; (2) State the meeting purpose; (3) Brief bullet points describing major items discussed; (4) Record consensual conclusions reached or points of non-alignment. The Call Report is short and sweet, avoiding excess text—it’s usually no longer
The Call Report is an effective tool to record observations and strategies following a donor (or prospective donor) meeting. Used well, it serves the dual purposes of recording information and documenting the necessary follow up actions. The resulting document is saved electronically and/or in a paper file for future reference.