Along the lines of cultivating relationships with donors, the Donor Power Blog offers some great advice in their article, "Seven steps to a relevant fundraising offer."
Imagine using "asks" as a form of cultivation. What would this look like?
Some additional thoughts on the article's seven points:
- Problem/Opportunity: It is critical that the donor know that they have been specifically sought for this opportunity because of their particular interest in the topic (not simply their giving capacity).
- Solution: Use this as an opportunity to show the donor the particular impact of their gift -- and let them know that giving works both ways, and does not end when the funds are deposited. If their funds are buying something, show it to them after purchase. If it's used for program, send them a picture of the program in operation. Let them know that their gift made a difference.
- Cost: Ensure the donor that their funds will be invested as requested.
- Urgency: There is a big difference between urgency and emergency. Organizations that are good stewards of donor relationships/investments can face urgent needs; organizations that are poor planners and bad stewards often face emergencies (i.e. catastrophes like hurricanes not included, obviously). Be sure to convey both need as well as capacity.
- Context: Be sure that the donor has the ability to explain what they invested in to their friends. If the financing is so complicated, or the impact is so removed that the donor cannot share the good news with their contacts, then you are not using this as an opportunity to turn your fund-donors into fund-raisers.
- Donor Benefits: Be clear about the reciprocity of the giving relationship. Let your donors know that you care about them, not just their money.
- Emotion: Don't be afraid to share your own emotion with your donors. Let them know that they really matter to you.
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