I’ve been developing fundraising programs with several new organizations lately, and have often been asked the question, “What are your top tips for building a successful fundraising program?” As I considered my top recommendations, I realized they’re applicable for both new and established organizations.
Here are the top 5 tips that can strengthen your fundraising program and help give your organization a jumpstart:
Spend time getting to know your volunteers – they are your best potential donors in the future. Thank them often and ask their advice.
Thank donors of any amount. Use email, letters and a good old fashioned phone call. If someone makes a gift to your organization (of any amount) they deserve the be thanked promptly.
Go into each event you do with a goal in mind. Is it educational? Is it a celebration? Is it a time to ask for a gift? Defining a goal for every event (and I do mean EVERY event) before it even occurs can help clarify your appropriate follow-up.
Involve your program team in fundraising. They live and breathe the mission. Not to say that fundraisers don’t also, but our program teams often have stories that communicate our mission in a way that is compelling and lasting. Invite them in on a call. Invite them in to make thank yous. They are a key resource in organizational storytelling.
Segment your audiences. Not everyone deserves the same letter or appeal. By taking the time to segment your audience by what THEY care about (and not what we think they SHOULD care about), you will develop a more meaningful relationship. Speak to them directly watch their engagement with your mission grow!
Try out implementing one or all of these tips this fall and let us know how it impacts your organization We always love to hear success stories from organizations incorporating best practices into their work.
Do you have any other key tips that you’ve seen work wonders? Let us know in the comments!