Fundraising Feast or Famine

Ann Fitzgerald President AC Fitzgerald author

Ann C. Fitzgerald, President

Do your donors experience feast or famine with the communications they receive from you? Are they bombarded at times with multiple messages and requests and, at other times, ignored?

How do you strike the right balance?

  • Consider your message. What do you want donors to understand about your vision, your mission and your activities this year? Are you consistent in repeating these key themes?
  • Review your brand. Gather up and review all the communications that you have mailed or emailed to donors in the last six months. Does everything read and appear as if it is coming from the same organization? Consider your use of your logo, fonts, and colors as well as your message.
  • Alternate between appeals and other communications. Every mailing should not be an appeal for support. While you want to ask donors to increase their giving over time, understand this will only happen if you develop a relationship with them.
  • Develop a calendar of communication. List by month everything you plan to send to donors between now and the end of the year. Include direct mail, newsletters, emails, annual reports, event invitations, holiday cards, and any other communication. Your goal should be to reach donors at least a couple times a month through multiple channels with a mix of fundraising appeals and relationship-building pieces.

Most importantly, create your communications from the donor’s perspective. Consider what they want to read rather than what you want to say. If your communications are consistent, interesting, personal, relevant and anticipated, you will develop loyal donors who will support your cause year in and year out.

Ann C. Fitzgerald is Founder and President of AC Fitzgerald, using her decades of experience in fundraising, management, leadership, and sales to help nonprofits build their capacity and achieve success. She is a sought-after speaker, writer, and advisor.

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