FundRaiser Blog

The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

Small, Local Groups Struggling to Keep Donors

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Dear Kim,

I work in an arts program that serves very poor public schools in a very poor state. Without us, 2nd -5th graders in public schools in our area would have NO arts program at all. We have no government funding and little foundation funding. We have built a base of donors and we squeeze every nickel. This year I am so discouraged by the number of donors who have said they are cutting back their giving so they can give to the ACLU or Planned Parenthood. For the record, I totally support those organizations and what they do, but how can I keep our donors? What we do is still important.

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Creating Value with Non-Ask Events

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Most of the time organizations offer donors reciprocated value. They send thank you notes in response to donations, preprinted labels in the hopes of receiving a donation, tickets when purchased, or other tangible things received either in response to or in anticipation of a donation. This isn’t bad, but it’s very reactive. It assumes the organization has a quid pro quo relationship with its donors.

To start thinking proactively, it’s important to work on non-reciprocated value. This is something that you can offer to your donors for free without asking for a donation or any other consideration. When it holds real value for them, it becomes memorable.

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Ways To Keep In Touch With Your Donors

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In previous blogs we’ve spoken about reaching out to donors and how many times and how often you should contact them. However, it’s important to think about ways to keep in touch. With so many communications options available to your organization, start thinking about moving beyond mailed letters or even emails into different ways to reach out.

One of the important things to keep in mind is that with today’s busy lifestyles, it’s vital to meet your donors where they are. This may mean moving to virtual communication or even using letters (or cards/postcards) sent through the mail for a special touch. Though social media outreach can have pitfalls and requires tending, it is a viable way to communicate with potential donors as well as your existing ones and with the ability for people to share your posts, they can go quickly viral and bring new people to your cause as well.

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How Often Should You Communicate with Donors?

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When your organization receives a gift, you send a thank you letter. Perhaps the donor has requested to be subscribed to your newsletter, which is sent maybe once a quarter. Other than that, do you reach out to your donors? Are you afraid you’re talking to them too much?

It’s a fine balance between too much outreach and not enough. On one hand, you don’t want your donors to forget about you, and it happens in even those with the best of intentions. People’s lives are busy. In the hustle and bustle of juggling jobs and family along with everything else, something as simple as sending a check slips through the cracks.

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Two Ways to Entice Lapsed Donors With Your Letters

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Now that the busy holiday giving season, as well as end of the year tax letters are completed, it’s time to look at ways to bring donors back who perhaps missed out on giving during the past year (or longer). Even if your organization doesn’t consider a donor lapsed until they haven’t given for a much longer time frame than 12 months, it doesn’t hurt to put some enticements into your letters to bring these donors back.

Once you’ve identified your lapsed donors, it’s time to contact them. A primary reason why organizations may not reach out to lapsed donors is an uncertainty about what to say. There are two things that you can do to help entice these donors to return to your organization.

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Looking Deeper Into the Donor Period Comparison Report

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The Donor Period Comparison Report (available on FundRaiser Select and Professional) provides a powerful way to receive an overview of your donors’ giving over several set time periods. From monthly to quarterly, semi-annually, or yearly, this report allows you to see a list of all your donors (or just a selection) and the totals of their giving for each period. In one glance you can chart trends, view donors who haven’t given and even see percentage and dollar amounts of the increase or decrease in giving.

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3 Ways To Target Your Giving Tuesday Donors

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As we draw closer to Giving Tuesday, you may be thinking about how to make highly targeted appeals to your donors based on information like their giving history or other factors. Luckily, FundRaiser software makes it easy for you to select groups of donors and then send them correspondence based on your selections. Let’s look at three different ways you can target your Giving Tuesday prospective donors.

Based on past giving

A motivation code tracks what motivated your donors to give a specific gift. This could be an appeal letter, a campaign, an event, or the fact that they gave to Giving Tuesday last year. Perhaps you want to reach out to donors who haven’t yet given this year or ones who have lapsed. Use your criteria to target your communication directly to these donors.

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donor profile LYBUNTS volunteers operational costs Personalizing online donations tribute gifts mode code corporate sponsors new features Thank You features brick campaign Excel change of address updating data analysis merge notes user spotlights pledges publicity materials general gift notes field nonprofit fundraising spreadsheets fundraising National Change of Address tax summary letters volunteering data conversion Congratulations role of nonprofits online donations appeal donor donation history Codes passwords tech tip Cloud the Ask adding personal notes to letters follow up donor engagement merge fields budget texting donors upgrade on site training donor advised funds user interface gift acceptance policy foundations donor attrition Company culture NCOA processing giving levels security Constant Contact backing up data Network for Good repeat donors custom page Thanksgiving correspondance password protection data entry development director new version importing csv donor targeting donor recognition word processor donor source alumni premiums fundraising letters donor relations banquet reports major gift prospects #GivingTuesday case study grassroots campaign donor slip recurring gifts look and feel new leadership government grants SYBUNTS moves management flash sales segmenting donors donor loyalty motivation code membership benefits office customer service Volunteer module Resiliency ticketsales transparency donor retention rate upgrading donors In-Kind gifts targeted mailings Tickles mailing email monthly giving entering auction gifts FundRaiser Spark prospects technical support correspondence mission driven building donor relationships planned giving Crowdfunding Campaign gift entry letter capital campaign planning Reporting to IRS phoning donors customer portal salutation Reminders social media how-to videos anonymous donors Facebook campaign understanding giving trends Alternative Addresses annual campaign legacy giving community arts nonprofits support End of Year Letters pictures advanced tab donor retention donor prospects vacation Facebook major donors relationship tracking disaster relief endowment campaign ticket sales auction letter templates animal rescue announcements community broadcasting holiday small donations training tip giving history increasing giving amounts donor attrition rate GoFundMe project donor contact information ROI welcome packet GivingTuesday in honor of donations thank you letters happiness board members training campaign management personalizing letters large donations overview community supported gardens charity golf tournaments New Year appeal letters membership programs communications holiday giving PayPal product news arts direct mail how to handle auction gifts Donor Portal memorial giving donor preferences FundRaiser Hosted holiday letters new nonprofit grants annual maintenance plan updates solicitors add ons Groupings event management new donors Importing Data FundRaiser Basic Snow Birds Task List campaign motivation raffle operating systems membersip benefits spare fields accounting software lapsed donor

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