Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving.

Thank you for the work you do! We’re grateful for you.

The work you’re doing makes the world a better place. Not only are you helping your beneficiaries and your organization, you’re helping your donors!

They don’t have the programs your organization has. They don’t have the ability to do good the way your organization can. So you’re giving donors a gift – and chance to make the world a better place – with all of your fundraising communications.

So, thank you! We love getting to be a small part of the great work you do.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

~ Jim & Steven

Why does Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat work?

Ask Thank Report Repeat.

I remember receiving an email from a woman I met at a conference where I spoke. She ended her email to me with this comment:

“Because of your knowledge, I’ve been kickin’ a** in fundraising, and it will only get better as we make more money, add more staff, and implement more of your plan!”

Reading this made me ask myself, “Why does Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat work so well?”

Here are just some of the reasons:

  1. Fundraising is not a talent issue – it’s a knowledge issue. Almost anyone can learn the fundraising fundamentals I teach. The key is that they must have the willingness to learn.
  2. Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat puts the donor at the center of the fundraising conversation. The system honors the donor and their stewardship decisions, and it gives them the credit for making the world a better place because of their donation.
  3. You’ll communicate more often to your donors when using Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat. The system requires you to Ask with clarity, Thank promptly, and Report back emotionally. Doing these things means you’ll communicate to your donors more often, which is an excellent thing for most nonprofits.

As you run fast into the year ahead, I encourage you to consider learning more about Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat. Embracing it will help you leverage the fundraising power behind this simple, donor-centered communication rhythm.

Want to know more? Get Jim’s recorded webinar and start learning how you can raise more money and steward important donor relationships during this crucial fundraising season.

To help you with your major donor fundraising this year-end, we’re running a series of Jim Shapiro’s most helpful posts.

We hope it provides you with some tips and tactics that skyrocket your major donor revenue during this important fundraising season.

Only a few weeks left to raise more money!

weeks.

This is the most fruitful fundraising time of the year. And now’s the time to be asking your donors for a generous gift.

Don’t wait!

  • Pick up the phone right now and ask your major donor to make a year-end donation.
  • Send out an email today to your entire email database. The email should be short, to the point, and include multiple hyperlinks to your giving page.
  • Take over the homepage of your website to promote the opportunity for visitors to make a donation.
  • If you have a funding shortfall this time of year, be vulnerable and talk about it! Donors love giving to solve problems.

If you wait to raise money until January, it will be too late. Make it as easy as possible for your donors to make a gift and ask them often – from now until midnight on December 31st!

Want to know more? Get Jim’s recorded webinar and start learning how you can raise more money and steward important donor relationships during this crucial year-end fundraising season.

To help you with your major donor fundraising this year-end, we’re running a series of Jim Shapiro’s most helpful posts.

We hope it provides you with some tips and tactics that skyrocket your major donor revenue during this important fundraising season.

3 Tips to Find New Major Donors

find.

Finding new major donors can seem like impossible work. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are three proven tips that will help you find new major donors for your organization:

Tip #1: Your future major donors are your former major donors! Look through your past giving records to identify donors that used to give to your organization, but no longer do. These lapsed donors, for one reason or another, stopped giving. But with a little bit of work, many will give a gift again.

Tip #2: Your future major donors are currently giving to your organization (they just aren’t giving at the major donor level yet). These donors tend to give smaller gifts, and more of them. However, with some direct communication and an ask for more than they typically give, you can convert some of these donors to major donors.

Tip #3: Your future major donors aren’t currently giving you a gift, but they have a heart for the work you do. The best way to meet these potential majors is to host “non-ask” events like open-houses, dinner parties, tours of your facility, etc. The more people you can introduce to your organization, the more potential major donors you’ll meet.

Pro Tip: I want to remind you to do all that you can to keep your current major donors actively giving. It costs you more money and time to find new donors than it does to keep your current donors.

The best way to keep your donors actively giving is to Thank them promptly and emotionally for their recent gift. Then Report back to them on the amazing things they did, because they gave a gift.

Thanking and Reporting are the powerful tools you can leverage to keep your current major donors giving to your organization – and loving it!

Want to know more? Get Jim’s recorded webinar and start learning how you can raise more money and steward important donor relationships during this crucial year-end fundraising season.

To help you with your major donor fundraising this year-end, we’re running a series of Jim Shapiro’s most helpful posts.

We hope it provides you with some tips and tactics that skyrocket your major donor revenue during this important fundraising season.

Prioritize Your Way to Fundraising Success!

prioritize.

If you’re like most development directors or executive directors, you feel a little overwhelmed by your day-to-day responsibilities.

And the day-to-day demands of your job put you at risk of not taking the time to cultivate your major donor relationships the way you’d like.

To help you prioritize your major donor development and fundraising, I strongly suggest creating a donor rating system. Developing a system is relatively easy, and it will take the guesswork out of which donor you should contact and cultivate first.

Here’s how it works.

Using a scale of 1-3 (with 1 being the lowest rating, and 3 being the highest rating), rank each of your majors on these four qualities:

  1. Total giving for the past 12 months – the top third should be rated “3”, the middle third rated “2”, etc.
  2. Affinity for your work or cause – do they love what you do or those you serve?
  3. Relationship strength – is the relationship between the donor and you or someone else at your organization strong or weak?
  4. Financial capacity – regardless of how much they’ve given, how much could they give?

Now, add up the total score for each donor. The best score would be 12, and the worst would be 4.

Then sort your list by the highest-rated donor, down to the lowest-rated donor.

Now you know which donors you should cultivate first! And you know how to spend your time to create a bigger impact for your organization.

Want to know more? Get Jim’s recorded webinar and start learning how you can raise more money and steward important major donor relationships during this most important time of the fundraising year.

To help you with your major donor fundraising this year-end, we’re running a series of Jim Shapiro’s most helpful posts this month.

We hope it provides you with some tips and tactics that skyrocket your major donor revenue during this important fundraising season.

Successful Major Donor Fundraising Takes Time

Major donor.

To help you with your major donor fundraising this year-end, we’re running a series of Jim Shapiro’s most helpful posts from the past.

We hope it provides you with some tips and tactics that skyrocket your major donor revenue during this important fundraising season.

Just about every single month, I receive an emergency phone call from an executive director who is short of their budgeted goal for a project or program.

The organizations that call us often have something in common: a leadership team that hasn’t had a disciplined approach to cultivating relationships with their major donors. So when it was time for those organizations to ask their major donors for financial help, their donors weren’t inclined to respond.

What does that mean for you?

It means that TODAY is the day you need to reach out to your top active donors and donor prospects. Right now, pick up the phone and give them a call. This very minute, pick up a pen and write them a thank you note. Or sometime this week, ask a donor to lunch.

Then make sure you have a disciplined system that keeps you in touch with them as often as they would like (which is usually more often than you think) – especially if you’re good about Thanking and Reporting back to them on the effects of their previous gifts.

But for now, take the time to connect with your top donors. By doing this, you’ll not only build great mission-driven friendships but you’ll also prepare your donors to respond when you come to them with a need.

Want to know more? Get Jim’s recorded year-end webinar about major donors, and start learning how you can raise more money and steward important donor relationships during this crucial time of the fundraising year.

Want to Help a Lot and Learn a Lot?

We're Hiring.

We’re hiring!

We’re currently recruiting for a Client Account Manager who’d like to accelerate their career by working with and learning from several nonprofits at once.

If you’re a good fit for the job, here’s what you’ll do:

  • Work with between 5 and 10 nonprofits around the country
  • Be the primary point of contact with each nonprofit
  • Project manage + help create fundraising content (appeals, e-appeals, newsletters, and social) for some of our clients under your management
  • Learn the approaches and best practices that are helping our clients regularly (and sometimes spectacularly) raise more money!

You can do this job from anywhere. Our team includes people in Washington, DC, Dayton, Portland and Seattle.

If you’re interested, get in touch with Jim Shapiro at jim@betterfundraising.com or see the full job description here on LinkedIn.

Happy thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving.

We’re grateful for you!

The work you do to make the world a better place is a big deal! So Thank You, we love getting to be a small part of your work, and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jim & Steven

Report to your Major Donors This Summer

Major report icon.

If your organization doesn’t have a natural reason to fundraise during the summer, July and August are a great time of year to be Reporting back to your major donors on the impact their previous gifts are having on your beneficiaries.

Take the time this summer to visit with your major donors and Report back to them the amazing things that have happened because they gave you a gift earlier in the year.

If you are unable to meet face-to-face with them, then send them a text that includes a picture of a beneficiary they helped. Or take a short video of a beneficiary, or perhaps the building the donor helped build. Set aside time in your day to call your donors and give them a quick update.

By whatever means possible, Report back to your donors during the summer months. Why? Because now is a great time to close the loop with each of your donors and earn their trust, so that they will be ready to give another gift during the last few months of the year!