Here's a killer strategy for increasing your gifts by up to 39%.
Can you possibly employ ONE FUNDRAISING STRATEGY and have it return up to a 39% increase in gifts?
Yes, it may sound impossible - but it's true.
Here's your chance to put your board members to work where they won't have to ask - all they have to do is thank.
This is one of my NO ASK fundraising strategies for board members. It's a perfect place to put your board members who are nervous about soliciting to work.
I'll be talking about this and several other NO ASK fundraising strategies for board members in my next webinar on Thursday May 13 "NO ASK Fundraising Strategies for Board Members."
Be sure to join me when I'll discuss lots of ways board members can support fundraising without ASKING. And bring your board members - it's tailor-made for them! You can find out more and register here.
Here's one of my favorite ways for board members to directly impact the bottom line: without soliciting:
THANK YOU CALLS TO DONORS
Try this test, and track your results. You'll be amazed:
The next time you send out an appeal, employ your standard thank you processes - letters, personal notes, etc.
But select out a random group of donors for a special thank you treatment:
- Organize your board members to make thank you phone calls to these donors within 24 hours of the gift being received. It's really important that they make the call within 24 hours of when your organization receives the gift.
- Have your board members talk to a real person if at all possible.
- After several tries, they can just leave a message that simply thanks the donor.
- The phone calls are NOT about asking for another gift. They are for stewardship only.
If your board members are adventurous, they can ask the donor why they chose to make this gift. They can pull out the donor's story - and the donor will be even more pleased and honored.
THEN, a few months later, send another solicitation out to all your donors - both the ones who received the extra thank you phone call and those who just received your regular thank yous.
And when repeat gifts come in, compare the results of both groups.
You'll find, when all other things are equal, that the donors who received a prompt, personal thank you from a board member within 24 hours of the gift being received will give up to 37% more than the other group.
Advice Visits are based on the old adage:
"If you want someone to give you advice, just ask for money.
If you want money, then ask for advice."
Asking prospective donors for their opinion and guidance always helps to create a closer relationship between the donor and your organization.
And we all know that good fundraising is all about INVOLVING the donor -- not just ASKING for money.
So Advice Visits are part of any good sustainable fundraising program.
Advice Visits practice one of my favorite fundraising rules:
"Treat donors like real people, not like pocketbooks. Ask them for MORE than just money."
I'm about to reveal my Golden Formula for opening a donor's heart to my cause.
I also use this to find out what a donor is thinking about my presentation.
I use these 4 words all the time - and I get terrific benefits and feedback! I can't tell you how valuable they have been to me.
It's a very simple, single question. And it is guaranteed to evoke a response from your donor that tells you where he stands.
But more importantly, it generates the donor's own thinking about your issue.
It encourages him to ponder your presentation, to digest your material, to think about it, to react to it. It encourages him to embrace what you have just said.
Here is my key to success.
I ask this Golden Question:
"What are your impressions? . . . .
And then I shut up and listen carefully.
This question encourages the donor to think more deeply about what you've presented. She is not going to get hot and bothered about your cause just by listening to YOU do all the talking.
Because they find them to be a relief.
If you send your board members out into the community connecting with important people and asking for advice, they'll usually be very happy.
It's because they don't have to do a long, detailed presentation. And they are not comfortable doing that. They don't feel that they know enough.
They ARE comfortable with the idea of seeking advice and input.
After all, they are the community representatives on the board.
It is totally appropriate for your board members to be asking other community leaders for their best thinking on how to achieve the organization’s goals.
They do not have to present a detailed case for support in order to be effective personal advocates for the cause.
I wrote about Advice Visits in my newsletter this week. (if you are not a subscriber, you can sign up here.)
I have used Advice Visits time and time again. They are based on the old adage:
"If you want money, ask for advice.
If you want advice, ask for money."
Rule One: Make Sure You Are Interesting, Not Boring
As you tell your person about your cause and seek his advice, you should be watching carefully for his reaction.
If your prospect seems to not be very interested in your cause, then you should not drag on.. If you are perceived as boring or droning on and on, you will never be welcomed back!
The kiss of death for any fundraiser is to be boring. You are the one listening, not talking!
- Reconfirm Good Cause's vision and mission.
- Reach consensus on what Good Cause wants to do in order to implement its vision and mission in the coming year and in the next 5 years. (broad framework here for the longer time period.)
- Identify strategic directions and set some firm goals around each direction.
- Answer the question: "how will we know if we have been successful?"
- Determine the critical success factors that will make or break the new goals.
- Agree on the board's role in creating success for Good Cause and what each person is committed to doing.
- Set next steps so that the staff can flesh out a complete operational plan for the coming year.