3 Ways to Upgrade your Fundraising Plan

Hi everyone,

For those of you who may not know me or be working with me presently, I used to be part of a Foundation Board. When you are on a board, fundraising is always top of mind, but it is always a little bit intimidating. I remember thinking “how do I talk to my friends about a cause that is so important to me, without them feeling like I am selling?” It took some time, but I realized there are ways that you can improve your fundraising strategic plan and help facilitate those conversations.

  1. Make sure you’re thanking your present donors: When you receive donations, are you sending a thank you card? Do you give your larger donors and smaller donors the same treatment? If you’re receiving donations, I strongly recommend either a phone call from a board member, a thank you note from the Executive Director, or if the gift was particularly generous, maybe a small thank you gift from somewhere like Greetabl. Greetabl is my personal favorite because you can include a nice note, a treat and if you sign up for their insider program, you get periodic discounts you can use when sending them. You’ll find a little thank you goes a long way!

  2. Spend a half hour in a board meeting going through potential donors: Who have you not reached out to yet that would most definitely be a slam dunk? For example, I donated to Alpha Phi Omega pretty soon after graduating because it really gave me invaluable leadership skills. What about parents of the programs you’re running, or ongoing participants? Make a list. Once you have your list, think of ways to reach your list. What about a monthly giving program of $10? An annual appeal? Maybe some phone calls or board outreach? If you haven’t started this already, it’s a good time to get started.

  3. Consider a donor database: If you are not already using a donor database, there are lots of options. One that is pretty cost-effective for smaller nonprofits is Little Green Light but there is also Raiser’s Edge, and other donor databases out there that can help organize your past and existing donors. Once you start meeting with donors, understanding their preferences and things they like to fund, you can start really forming effective partnerships.

I hope these ideas give you some thoughts on how to expand your fundraising presence in 2019! I am so excited for one of my clients in particular as they work through their preliminary fundraising plan.

Janet Gonzales