Step Four : 2017 Goal Increase Opportunity


So many times we make calls only to get the voice mail.  So let’s turn this into an opportunity.  Here’s a possible message:

“Hi, This is _______.  I am _______ at ___Name of organization________.  I am sorry that I missed talking with you today.  I am calling to let you know we appreciate your commitment to (mission) and your support last year”

“Since we haven’t connected with you this year I am calling to learn more about your interest in (name the mission) and if you would like to continue your partnership serving (name beneficiaries).  Lots can happen in a year and I want to catch up with you to learn more about your interest and your experience this year as a partner serving our community or to answer your questions.”

“If you are willing to have a short conversation please email me (email address) with some times you would be available for a call.”  

“Thank you so much for your commitment and caring for (mission).  We invite you to continue to share in the work.  I hope to talk with you soon.”

Keep it simple and recognize caring and meaningfulness of their commitment.  You do not need to talk about money specifically.

Step Three : 2017 Goal Increase Opportunity

It’s the third and final day of our challenge! Today you’re going to spend some time planning the calls and getting comfortable with the approach.

Here are some things to touch on during each call:

  • Invite them to tell you what they have liked about being a donors.  

  • Ask what they would like to know about the organization.

  • Confirm that the organization views them as partners with others within the organization, making programs possible for beneficiaries.  You want and need their continuing partnership.

  • Share a personal story. Creating human connection is best done through storytelling.

Remember to talk to the donor as a real person who care about the mission….as a friend…partner.  If they want to renew  their support they will.  If they feel you care about their experience ..they will respond.  You will learn why they haven’t continued their support.  

Make the mission and their commitment to it be the focus and reason for your call. Make the call friendly. Be interested and learn from them.

Step Two : 2017 Goal Increase Opportunity

It’s day two of our three day challenge and today we’re going to put some of your research into planning.

Schedule time to make 3-6 calls to donors per day based on the length of your list.

The goal is to connect with about 25 donors per week between now and new year. In 4 weeks that would be 100 donors! Think of the boost you can see to your goal and the mission by connecting with just 5 people per week. Each call should only last about XX minutes with moderate impact on your week. 

Planning the conversation will be important to help you feel comfortable and bring value to the donor. 

It’s ok if the first few calls feel uncomfortable, it’s a normal part of stepping out of the comfort zone! But after a few tries, you’re sure to find it fun and look forward to that part of your day.  

Step One : 2017 Goal Increase Opportunity

Welcome to the first step of the gift increase challenge! Here is your first action:

Make a list of the 2017 donors who haven’t given yet this year.

Prioritize the list based on how many gifts each donor has given.  Fore example, someone who has given 5 gifts would go higher on the list than a donor who has given 1 gift.  Count only gifts given in 2016 or later.

Learn as much as you can about your donors from this data. Make notes next to each person on the list if anything jumps out at you. Think of what you could learn from donors who already have confirmed interest in the mission.

It’s the Holidays with lots of Fundraising

It’s the Holidays with lots of Fundraising

Listening to holiday music, seeing happiness on children’s faces, and lots of Santas and I think of how fundraising fits into the season.

It is the time when our hearts are big and we want to participate, belong, and help make others happy.  We want to help.  Everyone helping and sharing to bring a little more joy in our lives.  When we share and see how we make someone happy…even for a moment, something in our heart moves.  Sometimes being generous brings a tear to our eyes.

Fundraising is at its best in this holiday season. 

5 Steps to Authentic Relationships with Donors 

5 Steps to Authentic Relationships with Donors 

Authentic relationships is key to success of a high number of donors renewing their commitment annually.

Donor renewal is reestablishment or continuation of the relationship with the donor.  The focus is with the donor recognizing their desire to join and help the mission and its beneficiaries. Donors report they will give more and more often if they feel meaningfully connected.

Reciprocity or Exchange for Giving

Reciprocity or Exchange for Giving

Foundation, business, or event funding have reciprocity or exchange for funding built into their support.  

Foundations ask for why you need the money to learn if the reason matches their interests and goals. They require follow up reports to be informed of the benefits of funding. Reciprocity is in knowing they supported a need in their community and met a goal. 

What are your thoughts about donor renewal?

I have written a few articles focusing on the building connections with donors to inspire renewal.  In this article I am inviting you share your thoughts, questions, or challenges on donor renewal.  It would be great to begin a conversation all readers.  I will respond to your comments.

Since I know that currently annual giving renewal of donors leaves fundraisers spending much time looking new people.  It becomes the top question in our minds. The goal we are trying to reach is a financial one.  The pressure on the executive director and members of the board is to have money to fund the mission’s programs.  There is no donor renewal goal.  There is no judgement made on donor renewal.  Many organizations don’t know their renewal rate.

We have developed excellent skills at getting new people.  We focus on getting the money to the point that people who give larger gifts are the ones remembered. Fundraisers are successful at this model of operation.  So why and how does donor renewal become a good thing.  If there are 50 donors giving $50,000 and they all renew the money stays the same.  But the work changes and the fundraiser’s focus and skills need to adjust.

According to reports smaller organizations especially are having a hard time meeting financial goals.  With fundraisers changing jobs in 2 years or less it is hard to build meaningful donor connections with the mission.  

Is it possible to build a “community of donors” who renew every year?  Can we create fundraising system that enables the fundraiser to focus on connecting donors (current and lapsed) with the mission?  Can we reduce searching for new people to <10%?

What support does a fundraiser need?  How does the relationship with the executive director and the board members need to change?  What skills would fundraiser want to develop?  

Your ideas, thoughts, questions, or challenges are encouraged.  Not one of us can do this alone.  We need a community of professionals who want to have find happiness in recognizing generosity and fundraising.

Please make you comments and conversation respectful.  I look forward to your ideas.