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

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