“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” This well-known saying by Welsh poet Joseph Parry (1841-1903) has an important message for today’s fundraisers. New donors are great, but becoming familiar with your regular donors – even if their gifts aren’t large – can uncover good information which can be translated into great potential.
Here are tips on how to convert regular giving into major gifts:
Review regular donors
Set a threshold of donors to review. An example could be to pull a list of donors who have given $1,000 or more to the nonprofit over the last five years. This dollar amount and/or the timeframe can be adjusted to fit the size of your nonprofit’s gifts.
Contact every donor on the list. Use your discretion, but handwritten notes and phone calls are the most personal expressions of interest. You may be surprised how many donors will tell you that your note or call was the first they have received from a nonprofit in all the years they’ve been giving.
Ask to meet
Also, you may be surprised how many donors are willing to meet with you, if asked. From these meetings, you can evaluate their interest and determine whether they are ready to be further cultivated or solicited for a gift. Regardless, the relationship will be deepened.
As appropriate, provide donors with more information, invite them to tour the facility or ask if they’d like to participate in the organization’s upcoming activities.
Many of our clients can tell you that this process is “gold.” It has helped turn mid-level, regular donors into major gift donors – including six-figure gifts – just by reviewing your donor list, reaching out, asking to meet and taking it from there!
Vice President of Grants and Research
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