With the holidays upon us, it’s time to revisit your fundraising plans for 2015. That means asking the tough questions: Are we on the right track? What can we do to improve? What needs to change – about our approach, our machinery, our people? To help stimulate more critical thinking, here are some important reminders for 2015. Elevate the discussion, and elevate your results for the upcoming year.
# 1: Giving Gifts Equal to Investment
Donors want to see the impact of their gift to the Cause. They want to know that you are effective and efficient. You need to visualize what kind of impact their gift can make. People want to make a positive impact on the world – and to believe in something bigger than themselves. You need to provide significant information to donors, and especially what a difference their gift will make to your cause. And not just the intangible impact: Talk about the ROI, the numbers, the analysis of each dollar’s impact, and your future plans.
# 2: Building Your Cause into Donor Trust
You need to plant a gift seed in your donor’s mind, and that means always nurturing your organization’s credibility. So, communicate directly to donors, speak their languages with minimal barriers between you, build and expand a personal relationship, and above all, deliver what you promise. Keep it in mind that the largest donors are most likely to express a strong interest in getting family members more involved in giving decisions. Have you built a connection with the whole family? As it’s always been, people are much more likely to give money to someone with whom they have a relationship.
# 3: Women are the #1 Donor Demographic
64% of all charitable gifts are made by women (Huffington Post, June 2014). Baby Boomer women are more likely to give, and also give more than their male counterparts (Indiana University). If that’s not enough 52% of women came into their marriages with assets equal to or larger than their partners (US Trust). Never lose sight of who is writing most of the checks to charitable organizations. So, evaluate your prospect list, and make sure your donor profile is well-constructed.
# 4: Data Makes all the Difference
Having a robust, scalable database is the heart of any fundraising strategy. With a click, you should know virtually anything about your donors and their history with your organization. Invest heavily in data, and the best systems for manipulating and leveraging it. Information is everything — Build your plans on it.
# 5: More Involved = More Giving
More than likely, most major donors make a big gift to the cause that is closest to their heart. The more involved they are with your particular cause, the more they are predisposed to give. You need to design a fundraising program that allows donors to be a part of – and/or play an important role with – your efforts, including volunteering, events, etc.
Many donors saw the value of their charitable accounts dip during the recession, but are feeling more confident again and ready to “give more money more often,” according to Amy Danforth, Fidelity Charitable’s president. That’s the good news. But you have to aggressively plan and execute each year – it never gets easier, or less complicated. That’s the bad news.
Planning, passion, and performance will carry your organization to the next level. Let us know how we can help.