Monday, August 1, 2011

Fundraising Tip: Map Donations to Impact

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) spends so much time interacting with the students, volunteers and IT professionals that participate in our programs ... sometimes we take it for granted. One thing that we're learning is that we cannot take for granted the impact that our BDPA programs and services are having on the lives of real people around the country. In fact, we need to do a much better job of documenting the impact we are making if we want to do better in meeting our fundraising goals.

I think that the following fundraising tip may be a helpful reminder to all of us that work with nonprofits that are doing good works.

How to Build Loyal, Happy Donors

People don't give to you because you have needs; they give to you because you meet needs. Donors and prospects don't want to hear about the woes of the economy or your organizational struggles -- no one wants to join a sinking ship. Instead, they want to know exactly where their donations will go, or have gone, and what impact your work is having on their community and the issues they care about.
Use the power of personal stories to demonstrate how critical and important their support is to your work. Emphasize impact and stories in all of your communications with donors, both in person and in your written materials. Make sure that you send timely thank you notes, reports on progress and success, and ongoing communications to build loyalty and trust with your donors. Start by sending a handwritten note to your best donor today!

As I'm typing this blog post ... I just made a phone call to the largest individual donor that we have.  He is an IT professional who works for Microsoft.   I thanked him for his donation ... which is coming to us by way of payroll deductions.  I also let him know the results that have already been seen with the young people to whom he directed his giving.   Five of the students he supports with his donation are traveling to Chicago this week to compete in the National BDPA High School Computer Competition Championship.  He appreciated the update.   I wonder if a phone call counts ... or did it have to be a handwritten note?

This tip is inspired by Darian Heyman's new book, 'Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals'.

Does this tip seem like one that you might use for your local chapter or nonprofit? If not, do you have a fundraising tip that you would like to share with us?

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