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Cultivating Donors Now Will Reap Rewards at End of Year

This past fall the attention of your donors was pulled in many directions. This is a constant in fundraising, no matter the season. Proper pruning and cultivating this spring and summer is necessary to bear fruit later in the year.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of the upcoming spring and summer seasons:

  1. Ask your donors - Donors love to be asked their opinions. An open ended question like, “Why do you give to us?” can yield surprising information. I’ll bet you’ll even be able to use some of their answers in fall campaigns. An online or mail survey is relatively easy to do. Remember, using the words of your donors in appeals works. Try it!

  2. Go over your “thank you” and “welcome” programs - Now is the time to do an audit of your gift data entry and donor thank you process. The simple process of getting a thank you in your donors’ hands faster will increase his or her loyalty to you. And fine tuning your welcome package will pay dividends in the fall when you increase your acquisition efforts. Did you know that if you can get a 2nd gift before the end-of-the-year, you will have greatly increased your chances of renewing that donor? It’s true!

  3. Life-Time Value Analysis – What makes for an acquisition list that A1? It’s not the % response or the average gift. It’s the total net income over time. I’d love to talk with you about this.

  4. Win back lapsed donors - Spending time this spring and summer to win back lapsed donors via mail, email or phone will increase loyalty and pay back your investment this fall. Acquisition is expensive. So try to renew existing donors as much as possible.

  5. Update your website – More donors read their email on their smart phones than you may think. If your pagers are difficult to navigate , you’ll be missing out.

I know you want to take it easy this summer. So do I. But if you want to be successful this fall, maybe we should talk about putting some of the above practices in place before you go to work on your garden.

What are you doing this spring and summer to ensure that your fall appeals will be successful?

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