Guest Post by Meghan Jamison, Front Range Source
It’s December, which means fundraising staff and volunteers are scrambling to fit in as many meetings with donors as possible. With all the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to become so laser focused on year-end goals that long-term relationship building opportunities fall through the cracks.
Here’s a quick guide to use following each and every donor or prospect meeting in December – whether they give or not.
Whether you have detailed prospect research on a donor or a prospect, the best way to get to know them and their motivations for giving are to talk with them! As soon as you’re done with your meeting, jot down details of the visit – why they care about your organization, spouse or family information, upcoming trips, particular interests, etc.
Be sure to record meeting notes in your database when you get back to the office – your resident researcher (or future self) will thank you later! Include any personal pledge or gift information.
TIP: Do you need to update your mailing list following a successful December solicitation? You may not want a donor to receive a year-end appeal after they’ve given in December.
Although this is standard fundraising practice, it’s importance can’t be reiterated enough. Donors like to be acknowledged not only for their contributions, but for time they spent with fundraisers. Even if a meeting didn’t yield a donation, chances are, if a prospect is willing to meet with you in December, they’re interested in the work of your organization and will be willing to meet with you again.
Aside from collecting donations, donors may have questions about programs or a specific project. Following up with them will build trust with the organization and rapport with you!
Develop a plan for how you’ll stay in touch and keep donors informed over the long-term. Let them know how their donation was used with a photo, a story or an update on the project or program of their interest.
This post-solicitation guide highlights just one piece of the solicitation process found in Front Range Source’s Asking Workbook. As a holiday gift for you, we’re offering all iWave’s readers 10% off the full Asking Workbook – a seven-step guide, complete with checklists, that takes you through the solicitation process from start to finish! Just use code SAVE10 to get your copy.
Cheers to a fruitful year-end!