Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook
May 24, 2016
Why is it that some nonprofits have trouble demonstrating true appreciation for their donors' great gifts and good hearts? In most cases, the organization's apparent lack of gratitude is not an intentional oversight or an actual lack of appreciation, but the lack of an efficient administrative system.
There are many reasons this critical step in the fundraising process gets pushed to the side, ranging from being short staffed, overwhelmed and not knowing exactly what to do, or letting too much time lapse and missing the window to respond. But not expressing appreciation is not an unimportant administrative task. Being thankful for gifts will help increase your chance of generating more giving in the future. Thankfulness equals more dollars for your organization.
Following are some tips to help you stay grateful:
Write it now
Always write a handwritten note to a donor or make a phone call right after receiving a significant gift. It only takes a few minutes. Do not delay. Waiting not only could make the organization look unorganized, but possibly unappreciative.
Newsletters and memos are always great to share with donors. In addition to the regular communication they should be receiving as a friend of the organization, make sure they feel on the inside track of information. Pass along good news of the nonprofit's success or give them a heads up about a new program or upcoming event.
Find out what they care about and surprise them with a small item that says, "We know you, and we like you." Spending a few dollars to send a wreath at Christmas or sending a congratulations card when they've received an award - these small, but meaningful gestures go a long way toward strengthening donor relationships.
Always make it clear that you are truly thankful for gifts. Finding the time to show appreciation may be hard to do when you are busy with so many other fundraising tasks, but taking it from an afterthought to a critical action could make a big difference in your organization's bottom line over time.
Kristy Burns, Vice President (Columbus, Ohio)
Join Us on the Growing Philanthropy Tour
Next stops on the road to achieving Hartsook's mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:
May 25-27, 2016
2016 Boy Scouts of America National Annual Meeting
July 4, 2016
Institute of Fundraising Convention
"Relationship Fundraising: Where Do We Go From Here"
July 13, 2016
Bridge Conference 2016
"Building Donor Loyalty: Just What Do We Know?"
July 28, 2016
Virginia Fund Raising Institute
Keynote: Karin Cox
July 28, 2016
2nd China Fundraising Conference
Inspired Fundraising Summit
Hartsook Institute at Avila University
August 24-26, 2016
Boy Scouts of America Top Hands
September 15, 2016
NonProfit Times Power and Influence Gala
October 26, 2016
Shepherd's Centers of America
November 18, 2016
National Philanthropy Day
"Relationship Buidling: What Works and What Doesn't"
"Donor Retention and Loyalty"
Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
"Relationship Building: Where Do We Go From Here?"
Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
Past Stops on the Tour
Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle
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How to Get Million Dollar Gifts and Have Donors Thank You (ASR Media) recounts 101 strategies surrounding amazing, real life fundraising gifts of $1 million dollars or more. Click here for a special price of $10 (plus shipping and handling).
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Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, email@example.com. If you'd like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.