Dollars and Sense: It's More Than Dialing for Dollars

It's More Than Dialing for Dollars

As Gillian Valentine wraps up our third year, we wanted to end with a profile of our longtime client, The First Tee of Aiken. Over the last two years, we have worked with this organization to produce their annual fundraiser which has not only raised them significant funds year over year, but has also increased their donors and advocates, as well as public awareness of their mission.

The takeaway from this project was two-fold: realizing the importance of a methodical approach to raising money, and that cultivating and maintaining relationships is critical to any successful fundraising effort. Below are a few of our approaches we took with this client which are applicable to all of our initiatives:

  • Have a Gameplan - We know this sounds obvious, however the reality is that many organizations begin fundraising activities without a pragmatic strategy. Defining measurable goals and results, identifying specific revenue streams and developing realistic approaches to cultivating new donors will ensure a cohesive execution of any fundraising initiative.

  • Make a Specific Ask - Sending donation requests via snail mail have their place, but once a relationship has been established with a donor, making a specific ask that ties back to their interests and giving history is always more effective. This approach takes time and research, but is critical to acquiring larger gifts.

  • Stay in Touch - Thank you letters are important for a number of reasons, but stewardship of donors is so much more. For example, connecting with donors throughout the year by sharing an exciting development within the organization or inviting them  to networking activities where they can mix business and personal interests provide excellent opportunities to connect. The result will be donors who continue to feel engaged with the organization, and who will continue to support a cause they love. 

  • And Finally, Infrastructure is Your Friend - Every fundraising strategy should identify, in advance, the technology to manage your campaign information, a communication plan to market your campaign, and the staffing needs to achieve your goals. Trying to implement a communications strategy after your campaign has commenced can come across disjointed. And there is nothing more cumbersome than trying to implement a donor management tool while you are fundraising.  

Hopefully some of these tips will help you crush your fundraising goals for 2019!

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Daniel Luiken