About 15 years ago, key members of CrossTalk ministry took a step back from their work, and realized they weren’t getting where they wanted to go. “We had a lag of four to six weeks in responding to people who contacted us. When we got around to contacting them they were irritated and didn’t care anymore. We were failing,” says Caleb Weiss, Development Director.
Caleb knew that donor management software could help, but theirs was more of a liability. “We had some kind of membership tracking software at that time. It took more work to use than it saved. We were also using several Excel spreadsheets. We needed a software product that would help us do our job without having to put so much into it.”
First step toward successful donor relations
At that point, they purchased a FundRaiser program. “We knew that, in addition to purchasing new software, someone needed to be specifically responsible for getting out responses to our donors. Jennifer Weiss, our database manager and in charge of donor services, took the job on, and in a few weeks, she was able to bring the response time down to twelve days,” says Caleb.
For Jennifer, the job went surprisingly easily. “I am the most computer illiterate person, but it was really easy for me. I came into the office and there were things everywhere that needed to be entered, but it all went smoothly and was fast. It was very easy.”
“Immediately, that made a difference to our ministry,” says Caleb. “We learned a very important lesson: the best place to put our development energy was into letters thanking people for their contribution or purchase. It made a night-and-day difference from simply delivering a product or sending out a tax letter at the end of the year.
“Over years, the positive trend that began with simply sending out prompt thank-you letters has continued to grow. We have built on that lesson, and have steadily increased our ability to respond that let people know we are paying attention and value them,” says Caleb.
Learn how FundRaiser can help your organization respond quickly to donor letters
Sign up for an online guided tour here