Rescigno’s has been at this fundraising game for 25 years now, so it gets kind of easy to NOT think about what it feels like to be a donor. Consider: Mr. or Ms. Donor sends a gift and then wonders (in fundraising you don’t want your donors to “wonder”) how the money was used because you haven’t yet communicated with them (since receiving the gift.)
Have you ever thought about what it must feel like to be “just another name in the database?” How about spending some time thinking about what needs to be done on your end to bring the donor the sense of satisfaction that he or she deserves to feel?
Is there a sense of self-satisfaction that comes from the mere act of giving? Yes. But that...
When you do something for someone and they reply with a genuine “thank you,” it makes you feel pretty good, doesn’t it? By the same token, when your boss asks you to work on an urgent project and you complete the task in a timely and efficient manner, the appreciation you’re likely to receive usually results in increased motivation.
During this giving time of year, people are volunteering their time at food banks and their church, coats are being collected, gifts are being purchased for families who can’t afford to buy them on their own, and, of course, many, many donor gifts are being made.
And, of course, as most of you know, people give the most during these last two months of the year.
I’d never heard the term Closing the Circle until I attended a major gift symposium recently. One of the sessions I attended had to do with stewardship. The facilitator made a big deal, and rightfully so, of the importance of “closing the circle:” in other words, the intelligent use of gifts, reporting back on gift impact, thanking, informing, and involving donors.
All of the above, of course, to cultivate donors for that next gift or, ideally, many future gifts, if we’re being honest.
When your organization stewards a donor it should consider a strategy that confirms to the donor his or her wise decision to make the original gift and to draw that donor ever closer to the organization.
You probably received a donation from someone today. Why not pick up the phone and give that person a call? Chances are your donor will be thrilled, and you’ll feel great for having made his day!
Why is this important? Well, mostly because fundraising shouldn’t be all about mass volume campaigns and struggling to get to the hallowed goal. Sometimes (maybe even more often than you think) you can get yourself a partner for life through a 60-second phone call.
And, yes, I’m a strong believer in making “thank you” calls to donors…regardless of the size of the gift. The personal touch can be so impactful.
If you have volunteers make some of the calls, watch for the reaction that takes place betwe...