Please. Just say Thank You!
Hopefully most of you have sent your annual appeal. Congratulations! Now you need to say thank you, with more than just a standard letter.
When most of us think about fundraising, it is about asking for money. The core of fundraising success - however is building relationships with donors. The donor retention rate in 2014 was only 43%. Even more startling, the retention rate for first-time or new donors is a paltry 19%. You are missing out on unrestricted funds which will make all the difference to your cash flow!
Think about what your own life for a moment. Don’t you feel different (have a warm fuzzy feeling) when you get a thank you email, letter or phone call after you have helped a friend do something. It’s the same principle for fundraising.
In a recent experiment by Penelope Burk, author of Donor-Centered Fundraising, when board members made thank you calls within 48 hours of receiving donations, those called gave an average of 39% more than those who weren’t called, and they gave 42% more after 14 months! This is the difference between turning a first time prospect into a donor (someone who gives to your organization more than once).
Don’t throw potential future money out the window. Your job is to cultivate donors. Inform them about your good work, how their money is used, invite them to see the program they funded.
And, it’s also a great way to get board members involved with fundraising. All they need to do is pick up the phone and say “thank you” as those donations come in from your appeal. Or write a handwritten note on the thank you letter.
A quick reminder about our fundraising webinar series. Individual webinars can be purchased for $45 each, or the full series for $160 and receive a free 20 minute consultation.
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