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How To Raise More Money When Fundraising

Over the years I’ve talked to many fundraisers. Many ask the same question, but with different phrases. Basically, everyone is looking for the easy way to raise more money in less time while reducing spend/budget.

The best way to raise funds is to have a large pool of supporters. All of us realize that having a strong pool of supporters means you have to retain donors from year to year and year to year again. These supports will shine brightly when called upon. 

But, what makes a donor stick around? And notice – I didn’t say your donor – they are not and never will be your donor, there are no vows that take place. Your organization has been privileged to receive their support, and you have to work at keeping their interest and passion going. 

We have done many experiments, ah-hem, I mean, statistically valid tests over the years. One tactic has definitely risen to the top of the success list, and might I add it’s also the most enjoyable tactic: thank you cards.

We actually have gotten communications back saying “Thank you for the Thank you!” We have seen some stewardship pieces garner checks for $10,000. A stewardship piece that only said thank you – no ask whatsoever – got a check for $10,000. That could be you. 

Now – it might not be you. You may send that thank you and hear only crickets. But, don’t stop thanking. It is likely the most sincere communication they will get from your organization, and is critical in developing a relationship if we hope it to blossom into major gifts in the future. We know healthy relationships are not built by being self-centered.

Stewardship pieces are the most fun to write and send. They are casual and genuine. They are the perfect Friday afternoon activity, ending your week feeling grateful, and starting your donors by feeling appreciated. 

Don’t put a limit on who gets thank you notes. No matter the size of the last gift, it was a big gift to the donor. Also, they may be dipping their toe in the water in the first phase of their philanthropic planning… 

“Be kind” is a phrase we hear a lot – let’s put it into effect by saying thank you!

– Jen from AppealMaker

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