1. Organize a thankathon for your donors.
Don’t let them drop away!
Go all out to make them feel special and valued.
You’ve got to focus on current donors and love them alot.
Here’s how to hold a thankathon for your donors. It’s easy and it’s fun!
2. Plan visits with your top 20 current donors.Make these top donors feel like your organization’s best friends.
Or even like family.
Try turning your current donors into your organization’s Friends.
Ask your donors to tell you their story of how they came to choose your organization to support.
You’ll learn things that will surprise you.
Pick up my handy list of 41 Major Gift Cultivation Questions to ask your major gift prospects. (free for newsletter subscribers).
3. Rewrite your thank you letter to make it warm and personal.I bet your thank you acknowledgements can stand a bit of improving. Ditch the lofty and formal tone in favor of warm and friendly.
See if you can create a letter that will make your donor’s heart happy!
Check out my How to Craft a Killer Thank You Letter with its list of thank you letter do’s and don’ts.
4. Create a campaign for lapsed donors.I think lapsed donors are the hidden gold for your cause.
It’s so very much easier to bring a lapsed donor back into the fold than it is to convert a current prospect into a donor.
Send a special appeal to lapsed donors titled: “We love you, we miss you, we want you back!”
I have to say that if I got a happy letter like that one, I just might renew my gift!
5. Rewrite your solicitation letter to make it all about the donor.You’ve got to make your appeal all about the donor and what she wants to accomplish. It’s not about you or your organization!
Knock off this sample: real live donor-centered appeal letter.
6. Plan visits with your top 20 major gift prospects just to bring them up to date.And be sure you use these two ridiculously simple strategies to develop your prospect’s interest in your cause:
kiss of death to a fundraiser is to be BORING. And the best way to be boring is to talk to much!)
- Ask your donor: “What are your impressions?”
7. Update your on-line donation form.We all know that donors are moving more and more to donate online. Even if they are getting paper appeals.
I just wonder how many people are ABANDONING your gift “shopping cart.”
(I know that I abandon shopping carts all the time on line, don’t you?)
Check out this killer list to optimize your online donation form from the Nonprofit Tech 2.0 blog.
8. Add the chart “Your Gifts at Work” to your web site and your newsletter.Donors these days really want to see where their money is going.
They want to see the impact of their gift.
A chart is easy, it’s clear and it’s effective.
9. Block off two days a week for the next three months to make visits with donors.If you make that investment of time, you should certainly be able to raise the money you need.
I find that the biggest obstacle to a major gifts effort is simply getting out of the office.
Set your goal. Draw a line in the sand. Make a commitment. Get your staff’s support to aid and abet you.
Then make it happen!
10. Plan a party to honor your founders, former board members, former capital campaign donors to bring them back into the fold.Whenever I organize a major capital campaign, I start right here with this event.
Because you better believe that these folks are your major donor prospects for the future.
AND I bet they are feeling ignored and abandoned by your wonderful organization, just because they are no longer involved.
But once, they gave you their heart and their money. They still have a deep connection!
Bring them back into the fold by honoring them. And then the door is open for you to keep them involved.
BOTTOM LINE:There are actually some simple things you can do right now to improve your fundraising.
The barn is burning down. So very much is at stake. Don’t mess around in meetings, or lengthy deliberations.
Just get it done.
And good luck! : )