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.

Schools improve donations by focusing on their most generous donors, part 1

Schools improve donations by focusing on their most generous donors, part 1

Read Part 2 here

When schools focus their donor cultivation on parents, alumni, and the close relatives of students and alumni, they are likely to see a very positive return. Knowing this has led to increased donations for several schools who are FundRaiser users. They know for a fact that these groups are their most generous because they clearly identified this trend in FundRaiser. Using these same techniques to identify common giving trends, your school – or other non profit— can clarify which of your constituent groups are most supportive.

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Useful Donor Information

Useful Donor Information

Dear Kim,

We have 500 donors, of whom 50 give over $1,000 and another 50 give between $500-999. We do a decent job of keeping in touch with these 100 donors, usually talking to them by phone or visiting the top 20 largest donors at least once a year. I keep all the information on these donors and I am retiring, so cleaning out my files and getting ready to pass this information on to the next person. I have pages of stuff on some people, and almost nothing on others. But what should I have? And what should I delete?

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7 key components for donor cultivation you should be tracking in your donor management software

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the daily details of life

Fund-raising has many engaging and inspiring sayings. Three that give insight into donor cultivation are:

People give to people.You don't raise funds; you raise friends.Fund-raising can be summed up in just three words - relationships, relationships, relationships.

At its heart, donor cultivation is about an organization's staff and leadership developing relationships with those capable of giving support and making them friends of the organization.I define donor cultivation as an organization-wide strategy and process to learn more about each donor's interests, desired professional and social contacts, lifestyle, and philanthropic desires so that we can better initiate and respond to contact with a donor in order to develop a stronger relationship with that donor.I can't stress enough how important this definition is - how important it is to the future of an organization's fund-raising efforts. Every successful fund-raising operation cultivates its donors - builds relationships with them. The most successful do it constantly and systematically.Let's parse this 48-word statement and examine its key components. Again, the definition, this time with its key components in bold type:Donor cultivation is an organization-wide strategy and process to learn more about each donor's interests, desired professional and social contacts, lifestyle, and philanthropic desires so that we can better initiate and respond to contact with a donor in order to develop a stronger relationship with that donor.

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Being of Service to Donors

As a development officer in a nonprofit organization you are well positioned to facilitate business and social contacts your donors may wish to make. Once, I had a family foundation that was making substantial gifts, and a donor who was head of a large financial house. I knew the broker-donor wanted to talk about handling the Foundation’s investments, so I put them together. The result was two happy donors and my employer, the Cleveland Orchestra, reaped the benefit of being the matchmaker.

Inviting a donor to a party or event hosted for you by those who are more socially or professionally prominent is a good way to help that donor up the success ladder. Conversely, inviting prominent members of your community to a party hosted for you by a donor who is trying to increase his or her social or professional standing can work just as well.

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Keeping in Touch with Donors

Preparation makes informal meetings go smoothly

Even if you successfully get donors to make site visits and are able to reach out to them as described above, it is not enough. You need to do more to keep in touch. After all, how many times a year will a donor be willing to come to the organization, or how frequently can you call for an appointment without becoming a pest? Besides, there are other ways to communicate and express interest in donors. Let’s begin by looking at communication that is more about the donor than the organization.

Send birthday and other appropriate greeting cards. Send get-well cards and even flowers to a donor in the hospital. Keep your eye open for items about donors in newspapers. When you see one, clip it and send it along with a “congratulations” note to the donor.

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

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