Appreciation is the final, yet profound, step in the five-step fundraising process which also includes identification, qualification, cultivation and solicitation.
Here are tips for intentional appreciation which, in turn, can deepen fundraising relationships:
Show appreciation for the gatekeepers
Cultivating donor relationships requires good information and open doors. Expressing gratitude and appreciation for the individuals at the other end of the phone or email can help facilitate both. In contrast, viewing gatekeepers as barriers to be overcome rather than people to be cultivated can limit the ability to deepen donor relationships.
Volunteers need love, too
Yes, volunteers make a commitment, so their efforts are assumed, but shouldn’t be taken for granted. Regardless of how long volunteers have been part of the team, they should be reminded that their work is recognized, valued and appreciated. Just because people love the organization, it doesn’t mean they will continue to volunteer indefinitely. Remind them, again and again, how much their good work impacts the mission.
Make appreciation a central feature of the nonprofit’s culture
We often talk about fostering a culture of philanthropy. Showing genuine appreciation on a regular basis is a natural part of developing that culture. When people feel appreciated, they are more likely to be creative, energetic and go the extra mile.
Demonstrating appreciation isn’t unique to fundraising. Lessons can be learned from other areas of life, and those insights leveraged for increased giving.
The Village Initiative (Kansas City) has received a $500,000 gift from the Sunderland Foundation toward its Transitional Housing, Transforming Lives campaign. The Sunderland gift will support the Village Initiative (TVI) capital goal to provide additional transitional housing.
TVI was also the recipient of $350,000 in ARPA funding. The Village Initiative is committed to helping returning citizens and their families rebuild their lives, while they endeavor to reintegrate into society to become productive citizens. The nonprofit offers individuals a radical approach: a faith-based community that comes alongside individuals who are ready and willing to give them a way forward.
Nationally, the recidivism rate for ex-offenders is 40%.When TVI is able to provide transitional housing along with wrap-around services, its recidivism rate is only 5%. TVI seeks to give everyone who wants a way forward the best chance at life, transformed, and additional transitional housing will help make this possible for more returning citizens.