shutterstock_260237105 race horses out of gateAs fans waited in breathless anticipation, eager to see if American Pharoah would be the 12th Triple Crown winner in horse racing history, I was thinking: betting on sporting events may be fun, but how do we take the gamble out of our fundraising programs?

Respect your donors and serve them well

Donors deserve to feel important and affirmed; they’ve chosen to support your organization over many other options. But some nonprofits seem to take donors for granted. How promptly do you process donors’ gifts? How quickly do you express your gratitude in well-written, highly specific, and personalized acknowledgements? How often do you tell your donors how vital and essential they are to the success of your mission? Your organization wins when you respect donors with prompt, high-quality expressions of gratitude.

Innovairre can help: Ask about our high-speed gifts processing, our quick turnaround Thank You programs, and our attention-getting Welcome packages.

Communicate across all channels

We’ve all heard the maxim that “fundraising is friend-raising.” Some friends enjoy visiting. Others like phone calls and sending/receiving cards in the mail. Today many prefer text messages and sharing on social media. Charities that honor donors’ communication preferences will better engage their supporters and reap the rewards. Just like our personal friends, donors enjoy the different means available to them to keep in touch with the charities they choose to support.

Innovairre can help: Take advantage of our Social Sync and e-Receipts opportunities. Request our high-level evaluation of your website and email marketing. Help donors feel appreciated with a Genuinely Penned greeting.

Connect donors with your cause

From the time we were kids, we loved to read good stories. But too few appeal packages truly evoke emotion. Many are bland, lifeless, and cerebral. Be sure to share mission-related accounts with your donors that touch their hearts and help their spirits soar. Donors want to be inspired. We all do! Connect donors with your mission through passionate stories about how their donations are improving the lives of a child, an elderly person, a needy family. Informing donors about what their support achieves feeds the philanthropic soul.

Innovairre can help: Invite us to assist your organization with a free assessment/critique of your direct mail fundraising package by our highly qualified team of experts.

Keep donors interested, active, and faithful

Donor attrition is a critical problem for nonprofits. Maybe you’ve heard the statistic: For every 100 new donors recruited in our country, the sector loses 102! Charities are wise to invest additional resources in encouraging donors to be faithful in the relationship.

It’s said there’s a 60% to 70% chance of receiving a gift from an active donor, a 20% to 40% possibility of a recently-lapsed donor contributing, and a less than 4% chance of a new prospect making a donation. Don’t pass up any occasion to keep donors active and to re-engage lapsed donors.

Innovairre can help: Learn about Donor2’s successful 8-steps-in-9-weeks process of better bonding with your donors. Requesting a review of your mail plan can reveal a treasure of surprising opportunities.  

Study trends in your file

What are your donors telling you about the information you’re communicating and the methods you’re using? Regarding your appeals? Concerning the content of your messaging? About how much they like you and are motivated to support your cause? Unless you’re attentive to trends in your donor file, you can’t know if your fundraising efforts are a sure bet or a foolish gamble.

Innovairre can help: Talk to us about Innovairre MC, a revolutionary, cloud-based, integrated software platform that transforms how you engage your donors. Ask about a free, comprehensive File Audit for your organization.

American Pharoah is the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years and achieved one of the rarest feats in all of sports. For nonprofits, fundraising success shouldn’t be a surprise. Your organization can be a sure winner . . . if you don’t gamble with your donors’ time, interests, and loyalty.

Paul Daleo is Senior Vice President of Fundraising at Innovairre Communications, which supports more than 500 nonprofit organizations around the world. To learn more about strategic fundraising, contact us at Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.