Call those donors! Phone calls are a great way to quickly and effectively thank a donor for their support throughout the year!
Hand written thank you notes are also a fantastic personal touch, especially around Christmas!
Refrain from over-doing it! Bombarding the same donors over and over is a big no no.
Include an update on how their contribution has had an impact. Donors like to see clear examples so when you speak to them, let them know how things are going and what they made possible.
Send emails. Email is a great way to get in touch with donors and it is free! Use it well and watch your income increase too!
Tie in volunteers when thanking those that made your work possible. Just because someone hasn’t given a cash gift, doesn’t mean they wont! So if someone gave up their valuable time, make sure they know you appreciate it.
Make a record so you know exactly who you spoke to and what was said. Hopefully you will be making lots of calls during December so avoid confusion and keep a record.
Answer questions. Make sure to always respond and reply when a supporter contacts your organisation with a question or suggestion. They need to feel heard.
Social media is a fantastic tool for connecting with donors. AND super useful when it comes to scheduling posts – so you don’t have to miss out on any Christmas pudding!
Have you got any other fundraising/cultivation tips for the Christmas period? I’d love to hear them!
Tracking progress is a great way to demonstrate to your Trustees and other staff of the impact of your work. In the past, I have had Trustees question my salary, question if my work is effective, question if it is worth the investment into fundraising etc. And I even though I KNOW investing into fundraising will be beneficial in the long-term, I also know that my Trustees are risk averse and wary of ‘too much’ money being spent.
So, my response to this is tracking and benchmarking. By demonstrating increased giving and increased retention, even over short time periods, you are able to be more assertive and respected. By showing that you have increased giving by x% in x months, you can demonstrate an upward trend that would not have occurred without the investment into you and your work. This then gives you a strong case for further investment and support from your Board.
It doesn’t have to be complicated! One of my favourite ways of demonstrating impact is by monitoring the number of regular donors we have and the amounts they are giving. For example, I know that in January 2016, my organisation had 84 donors signed up to regular gifts. This number is now 167 so that is an increase of 100%! Regular donors have doubled in just one year! Interestingly, the value of these donations went up 110% which means not only are more people giving, but the amount they are giving is higher too! This now means that my Trustees see the direct impact of focusing on regular gifts and are comfortable with the investment into this area of work.
Benchmark your data today and get a baseline. Then in one month, six months or one year, you can go back, benchmark again and see the impact, report back and be in a much more assertive position to argue the benefit of investing into fundraising long-term. No one can argue with the numbers!
* In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need to argue the case for investing into fundraising and I hope that one day no fundraiser will have to justify their position. If you are one of these lucky individuals I envy you! Until then, this is a great way of winning over the hearts and minds of even the most risk-averse Trustees!