Fundraising—and major gift fundraising in particular—takes time. That said, there are ways to build efficiencies into your program. Read on for 5 quick tips you can use right now to start raising big gifts in less time.
1. Be systematic
Fundraising is a series of steps (think fundraising cycle) so a structured approach is a natural fit. Consider ways you can build systems into your fundraising activities and major gifts program. For example, schedule regular meetings (monthly? quarterly?) with staff and board to review your major donor prospect list and to identify new prospects. You might also create a cultivation plan template that you can tailor for each of your top donors.
2. Draft a Case for Support
Your Case for Support outlines your programs, impact and plans for the future, including why your organization both needs and merits philanthropic support. Having a concise and compelling case for support at the ready allows you to focus on planning donor-centered cultivation touch-points and winning face-to-face solicitation visits.
3. Invest in a database
There’s a lot of data to track when building relationships with your donors, including contact information, donation amounts, dates of contributions, programs supported, donor interests and touch-points and much more. Without the benefit of a central storage place—one that’s accessible to everyone on your team—your fundraising program is at the mercy of misplaced notes and incomplete information (and precious time lost tracking down missing info!).
If you haven’t yet, now might be the time to invest in a reliable donor management system, i.e. database. And to avoid 10 common mistakes in selecting your database, check out this article by Idealware.
4. Institute a donor acknowledgment policy
A donor acknowledgment policy, at its most basic, outlines how each donor to your nonprofit will be acknowledged for their gift. For example, if Donor Joe gives $100, what acknowledgment and recognition will he receive vs. the acknowledgment and recognition bestowed upon Donor Liz when she gives $5,000? Your donor acknowledgment policy will come into play each time a gift is received. Having it all in writing ahead of time will save you from determining anew how to recognize a donation.
5. Schedule wisely
Scheduling wisely will boost your efficiency in all areas of your work and life! And by scheduling wisely, I simply mean finding ways to bundle meetings, tasks and travel as efficiently as possible. For example, try to schedule all meetings outside your office on two days a week. Save at least one day each week to be in the office “getting stuff done.” If you need to travel across town or across the country, add other meetings in this geographic area to make the trip extra productive.
Here’s to your success in building efficiency into your fundraising program! Tune in later this month for more tips for raising big gifts in less time.
Special gift for you: Conquer Your Fear of Asking for Money, a step-by-step guide, is available here (click).
Do you have tips to share to raise more money in less time? Please share in the Comments box below.