News & Insights

Building Trust

March 11, 2016

Trust is a basic part of any relationship, but it is especially important in fundraising. Building trust with your donors is essential.

Building trust means following up with donors in a timely manner, exceeding their expectations and getting to know them as individuals. When you do this well, you are building an authentic relationship—one in which your donor (no matter the size of their gift) feels a real connection to your organization.

This post by Jeff Schreifels from Veritus Group “How to Build Trust with your Donors” is geared toward major gift donors, but fully applies to all donors. When it comes to lower level donors, you can still be personal in your communication by segmenting your donors into groups that make sense for your organization.

Best regards from the Fladeboe Team

New Year New Plan

January 22, 2016

Happy New Year!

You can take a deep breath now. You've made sure all your donors have received sincere and stellar thank-you’s, and now it’s time to move on to the new year.

Look at your fundraising plan. Share a copy with your fundraising team (and perhaps board members) and have everyone take time to review it. Then gather together and polish it up: Do all areas reflect your mission? What parts worked well last year and what did not? Is there anything you would like to add to it for next year? This is the perfect time to create a well-thought-out plan for the coming year.

If you don’t have an official fundraising plan, consider creating one! Think about events, direct mail, major gifts, email/online fundraising, grants, and even marketing and communications. Don’t let the daunting details keep you from the task...start simple and flesh out your plan as the year goes on. This is a great tool to keep everyone on task and to compare fundraising results from year to year.

Best regards from the Fladeboe Team

Gratitude

November 17, 2015

 

The next six weeks are likely the busiest time of year for your individual gifts fundraising.

 

You don’t need to wait for donations to begin showing your gratitude to donors. Grab a list of people who gave in the past and call them (or send an email)...and simply thank them for their past support!

 

Then, once gifts do start coming in, make sure your acknowledgement process is at the top of its game. Set aside time each day to process gifts and generate thank-you letters in a timely manner. Also, consider making personal phone calls to thank donors of a certain level. Any extra personal touches will go far in building your relationship with donors!

 

Above all, be authentic. Show each donor how truly grateful you are for their support.

 

Best regards from the Fladeboe Team

Online Fundraising

December 16, 2015

 

It’s not too late to continue your fundraising efforts for this year. You’ve likely sent all your snail mail fundraising letters, but don’t forget email!

 

Online fundraising increases every year, so make sure you give donors an easy way to give online. Make sure your “Donate” button is prominent on your website and make the donation form super simple. Use social media to share inspiring stories and include a link to donate.

 

Additionally, send emails to folks who haven’t yet donated and ask them to make a gift! Here’s a short video from Movie Mondays and Steven Screen on exactly how to send those final important emails!

 

Happy holidays from the Fladeboe Team

Monthly Giving

October 7, 2015

 

Donor retention is one of the biggest challenges nonprofit fundraisers face. Organizations often get many new donors during events and other campaigns throughout the year, yet then they never donate again.

A simple and effective tool to increase retention is to create a monthly giving program. When you give donors an easy opportunity to give regularly, they often give more than they would otherwise. The average donor might write a one-time check for $100, but if asked to sign up through your monthly giving program, that same donor may give $20 per month--or $240 per year!

The idea behind monthly giving is simple, but the execution needs to be thorough. Make sure you create a formal program that includes acquisition, tracking, follow-up, and acknowledgement. Here’s some guidance and a template from Pamela Grow.

Remember, these donors often have great potential to become life-long or bequest donors. Make sure they feel appreciated!

Best regards from the Fladeboe Team

Auction Tip

Raise Those Paddles

Many of our clients ask us whether using bidder paddles (“on a stick”) or bidder cards (no “stick”) is really necessary for the live auction. Bidders can just raise their hands, right?

It’s true raising hands can work. However, we’ve found having a bidder paddle or card really makes a difference in an auction. Practically, a bidder card is much easier for an auctioneer to see than a hand. Once an item is sold, it is very easy to record who won the item. All the auctioneer has to do is call out the bidder number and winning amount. The same applies to a fund-a-need – it’s easy to identify guests pledging at each level by calling out their bidder numbers.