The following is a guest blog from Cindy Wagman CFRE, MBA from The Good Partnership. She’s a friend, a great fundraiser and she’s offering a free program to kickstart any small shop major giving program that I wanted to share with all of you. Read on, and check it out!
There’s one behaviour that I’ve seen consistently in all successful fundraisers and it’s one that unsuccessful fundraisers struggle with.
Ready for it…
Great fundraising requires patient persistence.
Although donors truly do want to give to your organization (they do, I promise – very rarely does someone donate under duress), I see many fundraisers feel like they’re coercing donors out of their money, that they’re harassing them to give.
Your job is to make it easy for them to give, which involves following up and being persistent.
We all lead busy lives. “Busyness” has become a badge of honour these days. That means that we get tons of emails, phone calls, texts, etc. and it’s easy to miss something. I’m guilty of this too!
As nonprofits, we need to cut through the clutter, and sometimes that means following up.
Here are three times when it really pays to follow up:
You’re trying to book a meeting with a donor and they don’t respond right away, or they respond favourably and then go radio silent.
This doesn’t mean that they’re not interested in meeting with you, it just means that they need you to follow up. When booking a donor meeting, follow up every couple of weeks until you book a time. Then make sure you confirm the meeting the day before.
You send an appeal and you get an okay response.
Everything these days is multi-pronged. Direct Mail letters do well, but they do better if you follow up with an email. Email appeals are inexpensive, but you need to send a series to boost your response rates.
You’re getting low RSVPs for an event.
Make follow-up phone calls to people who haven’t responded to an event invitation. Engage volunteers for this task if you have many calls to make, to ask people if they are able to join you. You will see attendance increase dramatically! I have doubled event attendance with this simple follow-up technique.
Know what actions to take and when.
Simple? You bet. These actions can have a huge impact on your fundraising results and they just require some persistence.
Hey – I’m busy too!
I get it – you’re also busy. It takes time and energy to be persistent, right?
I hear that all the time. Often, the issue is that you’re so overwhelmed with keeping things running, or meeting deadlines, that it’s hard to even think about what to do, let alone do it. I hear that a lot from small nonprofits, especially when it comes to starting a major gifts program.
In response, I’ve created Operation Major Gifts – a FREE 5-day challenge to launch your small nonprofit’s major gift program.
Sometimes, the biggest barrier to success is just getting started.
So, let’s get started!
In 5 days (with just 45 minutes a day), you’ll:
- define what a major gift is for your organization,
- identify a list of your top (qualified) prospects,
- develop simple and easy to use systems to map out and implement your major gifts programming, and
- actually book meetings with donors and prospective donors.
I’ll even guide you through what to do in those meetings for the best results.
Here’s how it will work:
You’ll get a daily lesson delivered straight to your inbox with tools and templates to move you forward, step-by-step by focusing on the right things.
The actions that will take you no more than 45 minutes each day of the challenge. You’ll also have access to a Private Facebook Group for accountability and inspiration.
Every day at 12pm EST I’ll be on Facebook Live in the group, helping you deepen your learning with live Q&A. My students tell me they love this access to coaching and support!
I’m so excited about Operation Major Gifts and I hope you’ll join me and everyone else who has already signed up!