Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Know where your donations are coming from (Nicole Wilken)

Many posts of this blog have focused on the importance of donor relations. But how are donors acquired and how do you know if your efforts in donor relations are effective? Here are some ideas:

1) Know whether most of your funding comes from donor outreach events or from private solicitations. Keep close records of attendance and donations. Create a database of email addresses and other contact information of the people interested in your organization’s mission. Make sure to track your donors’ contributions over time to know where they are on the philanthropic curve, how you can better reach out to them, and how to be better stewards of their money.

2) Don’t be afraid to prioritize outreach in the budget. If you use mail solicitations, one way to track the effectiveness of your outreach is to calculate return on investment:
This calculation can help to measure the cost/benefit ratio of specific neighborhoods or demographics of donors. Good record keeping will help to ensure your investments in outreach overset higher returns of donations.

3) Remember that you need to ask about three people for each donation, so don’t get discouraged with rejection. Keep the fundraising pyramid in mind and take care of your donors, regardless of the amount of their contribution.

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