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One-Size Doesn’t Fit All

Especially when it comes to your donors, at least, one size does not fit all. For example, if you’re mailing an impersonal $300 ask to someone you know is capable of making a six-figure gift or if you’re sending a non-donor the same solicitation as someone who has given consecutively for several years, well, that’s lazy and very risky.

To maximize your solicitation effectiveness, you should tailor your message based on your audience. For example, to a board member you can send a “thank you for serving” message with a soft ask to increase last year’s gift.

The key is knowing what interests your donors, their giving habits, and giving capacity so you can personalize asks and giving amounts.

And consider how you want to deliver your message to each audience. Younger prospects very well might respond better to email or social media campaigns; older demographics probably prefer to receive cards or letters in the mail.

Finally, try to develop a hierarchy of donor types, especially if you have prospects who fall into multiple constituencies. Maybe you’ll want to remove board members or certain prospects who have the capacity to give larger amounts from your annual solicitation efforts. And don’t forget, it’s at this point that major gift officers can advise on who should or should not be included in solicitations.

Do you have any experience with breaking down the One Size Fits All Mentality?

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