Fundraising is an on-going cycle, with a “thank you” being just a single step in the journey of an ever-deepening relationship. *Caution: Don’t take God out of His role in development. You do the leg work, He brings in the harvest.
Here are the 9 ways you can increase your donors desire to give:
- The Donor Experience – Your goal should be to plan and steward your engagements with your donor in such a way that they always come away from a phone call or an in-person meeting believing that you cared more about them than their donation.
- Promoting the Organization’s Mission and Vision – Donors should be on a trek of an ever-deepening understanding of the work God has placed on your organization – not only for today, but in the future. We often see a donor’s level of support perfectly aligned with their understanding of the true depth and breadth of both the ministry’s mission and vision.
- Event Participation – Make sure you’re keeping track of which events each donor has been invited to, whether they attended the event and who from your team was able to engage with them. Their participation may signal a willingness on their part to venture into an even deeper level of support.
- Ministry Experiences – Don’t get in a rut with the types of experiences your donors have with your ministry. If all you ever invite them to is your annual banquet, or golf outing—stop it! Keep your donor engagements fresh. Change them up and always make them donor-focused. Give your donors a meaningful reason to continue to engage with you personally.
- Celebrating Them – Donors are just human after all, and therefore they care more about their own lives than your ministry. Make sure you know what the important events are in their lives and celebrate them. Birthdays, anniversaries, when they first became a donor, their children’s and/or grandchildren’s births—all of these should be in your database.
- Be Uplifting and Positive – Some of our organizations deal with people and circumstances that are facing some difficult, if not dire, life situations. Plan some uplifting elements into your interactions with your donors so that we focus on hope and positive outcomes, rather than just problems. They should perceive their involvement with your ministry as a healing balm, not just a temporary bandage.
- Creative Appreciation – Yes, a hand-written thank you note, or card, is always meaningful. But make sure you switch it up with some creative ways to thank your donors that are personally meaningful to them. Perhaps a copy of their favorite verse somehow attached to/with an item that represents the work of your ministry, or those you serve. (For other creative ideas on Donor Communication download our [eBook] How to Communicate Effectively with Your Donors >>)
- Ministry Staff & Clientele Engagement – As the Executive Director, Development Director, or Major Gift Officer for your organization you are likely the face of your ministry to your donor. Make sure you provide opportunities for your donors to meet other staff members, case workers, field workers, even clientele of your organization. They will walk away with a much deeper appreciation for the variety and depth of ministry you provide.
- Cultivation Process – Existing donors provide one of the most effective means for cultivating new supporters for your ministry. Their social and business friends and acquaintances can become some of the best new champions for your ministry.