January 5, 2016 Douglas Shaw & Associates

Welcome to 2017! A new year bringing opportunities to do things differently. Even small changes can impact the success of your fundraising goals. Here are a few ideas to try this year:

Thank you. These two words seem simple but are so important to your donors. Acknowledge gifts as quickly as possible—within 24-48 hours of receipt—and personalize each letter. Let each donor know how much you appreciate them. Set a goal with the number of thank you notes that you will hand write each week. And stick to it.

Telephone. Pick up the phone and thank donors. Calling donors to say thank you is a great way to recognize their giving and build relationships. Getting to know your donors can help you shape communications across all channels. What inspires them to give to your organization? What do they like about your organization?

Donor Focused. Communicate with your donors about things they care about, in ways they want to hear. Avoid talking about process within your organization, think about the outcomes; the lives that you are changing for the better. Tell stories of changed lives.

Connect. Reach out to other Development professionals in your community. It can be as simple as meeting for coffee and asking what they are doing related to fundraising, and sharing your successes as well as ideas that did not meet your expectations. There is so much we can learn from each other.

First impressions. Your website is often the first place a potential donor will go when they learn about your organization. What do they see when they get there? Can they easily find information they might need to learn more about what you do? Is all of your financial information up to date? Make the time to review the content of your website and freshen it up.

Make 2017 your best fundraising year ever!