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

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