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.

Track Thank You Letter Effectiveness

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Have you ever thought about tracking the repeat donors from the thank you letters they receive? Do you include an ask or a reply coupon in the thank you letters to solicit additional donations?

It’s not a common thing to do, and yet, by generating another ask, you may be surprised by how many people will donate again. How would you track responses to thank you letters?

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New Organization? Creating Your First Thank You Letter

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When you’re new to using donor management software, one of the things you will do is create your first thank you letter. Even if you’ve been using the software for a while, you’ll probably create new letters, so a lot of what we’ll cover will apply to long-time users of the software as well. One of the biggest tasks of writing a thank you letter is deciding what to say. You want to strike a balance between conveying your organization’s mission and thanking the donor, while being personable, yet professional.

Within our software we provide a template to get you started. While we call this our “Generic Thank You Letter”, there certainly will be nothing generic about it once you’ve followed our lead. We provide the template, including automatically adding in merge fields for the gifts and the donor’s address. And more importantly, we provide pointers to give you an idea of what to write.

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Our Heartfelt Thanks As We Roll into the New Year

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As we roll over into the New Year, there is no doubt that the past year was an eventful one – in fact, I learned a new term tio describe my experience: news fatigue. In case you haven’t experienced this, yourself, news fatigue occurs when you feel like there is too much news and you can’t keep up. According to Pew Research, nearly seven in ten Americans claimed to have it in 2018– and that was in July!

So, in light of that, I’m going to make this New Year message short and sweet. With this New Year, I would like to send out a heartfelt thanks to all of you, our FundRaiser Family. You make it possible for us to continue to work in this space, and we are proud to be able to support your efforts. Every day, we are privileged to be in direct contact with the very best of the workforce – the helpers, the volunteers, the recruiters, the fundraisers, the directors, the organizers. All of you, who are dedicating your time and careers to nonprofit work are shining examples of how to be the change in the world, and we are proud and grateful to be of service to you. Thank you for continuing to do the work that you do, and thank you for continuing to allow us to be a part of that, as well. Joshua and I and the whole FundRaiser Team wish you all a very happy happy New Year, too.  We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2019!

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Collecting Donor Phone Numbers

Collecting Donor Phone Numbers

Dear Kim,

I have a multipart question.  We want to start doing thank-you calls but often don’t have donor phone numbers. Is it creepy to get their phone number from the white pages? Should we require a phone number on our donation page so we can capture phone numbers going forward?

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How A Little Bit of Donor Outreach Created Campaign Success

How A Little Bit of Donor Outreach Created Campaign Success

In June, I tried my hand at my first fundraising campaign. I started with a basic mailing to loyal donors. You can read about my beginning efforts in my blog post here.   

After I sent the letters out, I didn’t have to wait long before our first donations came in. Loyal donors replied rapidly, and it was great fun to open the envelopes and see their notes and checks. 

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Key to Successful Fundraising: Appreciating Our Donors

Key to Successful Fundraising: Appreciating Our Donors
 Dear Kim,

I am new to development and I have heard several contradictory things about the kinds of acknowledgements I should be sending to donors. Someone said we are required by law to send a thank you for every gift and someone else said you have to subtract the value of anything you send to the donor. Then someone else said that you only have to thank people who give over $250 and someone else said you are not allowed to thank people unless they request it and on and on. I know you say, “Thank before you bank” but that doesn’t sound like a law as much as a good habit.

~Help!  

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Managing & Reporting Fund-Raising Campaign Progress, part 3: Tracking, Collecting and Acknowledging Gifts

Managing & Reporting  Fund-Raising Campaign Progress, part 3: Tracking, Collecting and Acknowledging Gifts
Tracking Gifts and Collecting the Money

(read part 1 and part 2 of this series.

Receiving and recording gifts is simple to do, but very often poorly done. When donors make a gift or a pledge, solicitors notify their team captain and forward the pledge card or check to the organization’s development office that day. If the deal is struck in the evening, they do it first thing the next morning. The timing and process is where the first mistakes are made. The timing is do it immediately. The process is send the paperwork to the development office. There is no need for checks and pledge cards to go anyplace other than to the organization. These are official documents and should be collected in one central location as soon as they are signed. No solicitor should ever hold a check or pledge card while waiting for others to come in. Stamps and envelopes are relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of the bad will created by a lost or slowly processed check or pledge card.

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6 Ways to Stay Quick and Genuine with Your Thanks

6 Ways to Stay Quick and Genuine with Your Thanks

Thanking donors seems like something so basic that we shouldn’t even have to talk about it. But more mistakes, with more devastating results for donor loyalty, are made in the thanking of donors than anyplace else. So, let’s go over six rules for saying “thank you” that are absolutely essential.

Thank a donor immediately. Send out a thank-you note for a gift no later than the day after the gift is received. Nothing is more important than a prompt thank-you.Be humble. Don’t act as if or communicate the thought that you were expecting the gift as something that was the donor’s responsibility to do.Praise the donor’s generosity. Do not stint. Let the donor know how important the gift is.Praise your donor’s leadership. Anyone who gives is a leader and should be treated as such, and call attention to the fact that their gift will influence others to give.Thank donors for past support. When you receive today’s gift remind the donor how appreciative you are of past support, but do not talk about future support. Do not say thanks out of one side of your mouth and hint at future requests out of the other.And finally, never let a hint of disappointment show. Never, ever show a lack of gratitude for a gift, whatever its size.

There are two things that must be remembered about saying thanks. Donors expect it, and they deserve it.

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