I’m going to call you out on something today.
I’m going to call you out on it because I’ve seen this now with a few of my clients and I want you to STOP. Or, as the case may be, STICK WITH IT.
I see many organizations stop doing things that we know are effective in fundraising. They think it’s a waste of time, that it’s not immediately bringing in money, so they should let it go.
Here’s the truth though.
So much of fundraising success comes by doing little things, consistently over time. But we don’t often SEE the results of these habits. At least not in the short-term. In the long-term, the results are powerful.
I see this time and again - organizations give up on friend-raising events, halt donor communications or quit before giving it enough time to see results.
Here are three things you should stick with, even if you don’t see the results right away:
Thank you calls
Okay – this may not be a surprise. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I’m a big fan of thank you calls, especially for small organizations. First, the work. According to researcher Penelope Burke, donors who receive a thank you call within 48 hours of their gift donate an average of 39% on their next gift.
You might not see the fruits from this labour for a year or so, but boy, it’s worth sticking with.
You can also play around with fun ways to say thank you. Try using social media or sending personalize videos (from your iPhone is great). Back in the day, I used to hand-deliver receipts to donors on my way home from work.
Stories are like magic for nonprofits. I’m not talking about testimonials or quotes, but actual stories, think Disney or Pixar. There should be one subject who has a journey – a before and after.
You should use stories everywhere, like at events, in appeals, and in newsletters. If you want a simple, easy tool to communicate impact to donors, I recommend doing a special monthly email that is just one story. It can be of someone who has benefited from your services, of a donor, a volunteer, even staff. The key is to consistently tell compelling stories.
I LOVE small, intimate and meaningful friend-raising events.
You’re not charging for a ticket or having an auction (thus not bringing in any money), but you’re building relationships that will last.
You might not see the impact of these events until your next appeal. But the more your donors know about and love your organization, the more likely it is that they will keep supporting you.