Major Donor Fundraising: Did You Love Your Donors This Month?

Major Donor Fundraising

Valentine’s day has come and gone.  And hopefully you told your donors that you and your beneficiaries love them!

Now the question is; have you told them again this month?  And what’s your plan for the month after that?  Valentine’s day should serve as a great reminder to love your donors, not only this month for the rest of the calendar year and beyond.

Your donors are giving from their emotions and heart to help someone in need.  It is your job to thank them promptly and emotionally for their gift.  Here’s how you do it:

  • The first thing your donor receives after making a gift is your receipt package. Is your receipt letter dry and boring, or is it full of emotion and appreciation?  Think of your receipt packages as the first love letter back to your donor.  Make them full of emotion about what the donor has done (given a gift), not about what your organization does (which is what most receipt packages say).
  • The next response to your donor is a thank you letter. This is a separate piece of customized and personalized communication.  Hand address the outer envelop, use personal stationary, delivers the letter using a real stamp. These little touches send the exact message you want to send to your donors.  You appreciate them and their donation mattered.
  • We all love to receive gifts. So do your donors.  It is appropriate for you to know when their birthday is and send them a special gift.  Or, identify the date of their first donation to your organization anniversary and send them a gift then.  The takeaway here is to find natural times in the calendar year to send them a gift of thanks and appreciation.

These are just a few simple reminders to carry the heart of Valentine’s Day into your every day work with your donors.  When they know you really care about them, they are more likely to give more money and more often to the work you are doing.

Jim Shapiro

Jim Shapiro is the fundraising coach you’ve always wanted, the proven Sherpa who can help you get to the top of the mountain. Jim has 30 years’ experience raising money, including serving as the VP of Development for a global $100m nonprofit. He co-founded The Better Fundraising Co. to help small-to-medium nonprofits raise more money.

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