My 30 years of fundraising
With professional fundraising focused on money and especially large gifts, it isn’t surprising that people who make gifts of smaller amounts experience giving and themselves as not important. Fundraisers focus on raising the money because that’s what they get paid to do. Meaningful connection with the donor is limited, as success is defined by the money raised. Donor renewal is nice, but not a necessity.
Research in the past ten years reveals a downward spiral of giving
When donors believe their gift is small, they do not experience generosity. I will share that for a few years, I made a $1500 gift to an organization. When I dropped my gift to $250, no one asked me about my experience. It was my plan to reinstate my gift the following year. When I didn’t hear from anyone, I felt my gift didn’t really matter. This is a favorite organization for me, yet I did not return to the higher level.
People give money to help an organization, trusting and believing their gift will help meet a community need. Yet, following a thank-you letter, another request for money arrives. Donors tell me they hate making a gift because it means they will get more letters asking for more money. It is time for this to change. I can support you building real relationships with donors to keep their interest in renewing.
Here’s what we know when donors renew annually.
They are more likely to:
makea planned gift bebetter informed onthe need for a campaign and become supporters givelarger gifts when possible helpencourage others to support haverelationships with a board member, executive, and staff
Organizations benefit from renewing donors as they will have:
timeand resources for building real relationships greaterstability in their donor community fundraisersdeveloping a sustainable fundraising program asystematic renewal process