When you have multiple fundraising initiatives happening concurrently, keeping it all straight can be a challenge. One day you’re sending out membership drive renewals, and the next invitations to your special event. With all the outgoing messages donors receive by email, social media, mail, in-person, maybe your donors aren’t even paying attention any more because of all the chatter.
But what can you do when each fundraising initiative is crucial to the success of your cause – especially when you have many fundraising programs that all add up to what you need to accomplish your mission? If you’re worried that all these fundraising messages are confusing to your supporters it’s time to consolidate.
Click here to check out Part One of Comprehensive Fundraising to get started with three simple ideas to streamline your back office and organize your fundraising communication with your donors.
Now that you have your ducks in a row, it’s time to roll out your new, easy-to-understand, comprehensive fundraising communications plan.
A comprehensive fundraising recognition program is a terrific “excuse” to check in with your supporters. It’s a great way to establish a dialog with a high response rate because you’re talking with your donors – not about the programs and the long menu of ways to be supportive – but about them. You’re focusing on your donor’s personal history of involvement and ways that she has individually supported your cause. Who doesn’t like having her supportive activities noticed?
The Pre-Launch Communications
A little “behind-the-scenes” information about the new way you’re going to be celebrating your donor’s support AND helping him cut through the clutter in his inbox and to-do list goes a long way to building interest and momentum for your fundraising.
Your pre-launch communications about your new approach to comprehensive fundraising can be all about checking in with your donors to be sure that you and they are on the same page. Give him a heads up about what a tremendous impact he’s had over the years and the amount of his lifetime support.
Ask her if she has additional information in her records. After all, no one’s (including your cause’s) records go back to the dawn of time. Remember that conversion to a new system that happened a couple of years ago or when you pooled your records into one ‘official location?’ Chances are a few things got lost in translation.
Asking your donors to verify their information will provide them with a preview of your new lifetime acknowledgement levels and an opportunity to adjust where they make their debut with your new program. You’ll have some great conversations, flesh out your history records, and create interest and excitement about your new approach. You might even raise some money before you start.
…And You’re Live!
Now that your audience is primed for a new streamlined approach to your fundraising, it’s time to make it easy to support your cause! Remember that the premise for consolidating your fundraising communications is to help your supporter stay abreast fundraising activities and eliminate irritation caused by confusion between initiatives. Your new streamlined approach positions your ask up front and is all about the benefit to your donor.
Introducing a new program or updating your supporters on a regular basis is a great way to set a recurring communications schedule with your donors. Whether you’re meeting face to face or communicating through email, snail mail, social media or other broad-based technique set a schedule to connect every so often with your donor and walk him through your whole package of what’s in process and what’s coming up next with your fundraising initiatives.
Describe the benefits of one request with a custom installment payment plan that fits your donor’s schedule. Make it easy to customize her gift or pledge by indicating several initiatives in one “menu.” Let him know what to expect when it comes to your cause’s fundraising messages. Will she continue to receive requests and communications as a courtesy? Be sure to outline the various ways he will be acknowledged and updated about progress and new programs. Solicit feedback on what she likes about the new approach.
When you begin to communicate with a comprehensive message with your donors, you gently plant an idea about an opportunity to “upgrade” to the next level. By keeping your supporter informed about her cumulative participation and letting her know how close she is to the next level, you are creating a gap that your donor can help close. Your donor will appreciate the recognition of what he’s done so far and when you point out how achievable the next level is it makes it easy for him to take that step up.
Taking a comprehensive approach to your fundraising doesn’t have to be difficult. When you need some extra support to try out new ideas or help you craft your fundraising messages, sign up for our personal approach to Fundraising Coaching. It’s like an adrenaline shot for your fundraising. Click here to learn more.
Create a comprehensive fundraising communications schedule celebrating your donor’s total impact that fits your organization. Does a personalized monthly newsletter that updates your supporter on her cumulative participation and provides an insider’s view to newly added initiatives fit your pace? Or does a personalized reminder to “see your support in action” that is timed to coincide with your cause’s events keep your donor in the loop?
Be creative with your communications and keep them geared toward providing information that benefits and celebrates your donor. When you consolidate your asks your fundraising communications quickly turn into welcomed conversations verses yet-another-request for another urgent issue.
Photo source: chicagonow.com
Great "part two" about how to prepare for streamlined fundraising approach. Love the idea of connecting with donors one-on-one about their history, preferences, etc. rather than navel gazing or guesswork. Like the point about priming them for upgraded support in the future. Sidebar: Hilarious photo of the guy on the phone!
Thanks Denise! I thought that picture was hilarious too! After all, your records might not go back to the dawn of time, but you can certainly "go retro" with your donors. LOL!