Custom Fundraising Services

Autumn has arrived. We welcome the season with a sweater and a glass of cider as the leaves burst with vivid color and then slowly fall to the ground.

Autumn is also the time when we hustle for the last big fundraising hurrah of the year.

Before you get fully immersed in the fundraising hustle, stop . . . take a breath . . . and make sure you can answer the following questions:

  1. When was the last time you scrubbed your donor lists? If you can’t remember the last time it was done, do it now. Dirty data will net you bad results regardless of how amazing your year-end package.
  2. What is your theme and is it compelling? “We need money to fill the gap” is not compelling. Neither is “It’s year-end” or “You get a tax deduction”. A compelling theme is about the mission and ministry your donors need to invest in (with both their heart and their head). Your theme should be consistent throughout all year end communications and all channels (mail, email, social media, telephone, etc.).
  3. What stories will you tell to reinforce the theme? The story should not be about you and your organization. The story should be about the profound impact on the people and community you serve. The story should touch the readers’ heart.
  4. Will the story have a sense of urgency and remind express clearly to the donor “we can’t do this without you”? A sense of urgency is the message about what will happen if they don’t take action. Children will go hungry. Families will be homeless. A cancer patient will die. A student will not be educated. Touch their heart, then appeal to their head.
  5. Will the donor know what you want them to do? Don’t be shy about asking for a reasonable response from the donor. Think about what the donor can likely do. Be direct. Be specific. Be thoughtful.
  6. Will it be easy for the donor to give? You’ve touched the heart, appealed to their head, not make sure you make it easy for them to respond with a gift. Test your online giving portal. The more clicks you require, the less likely the gift will be made. Test your remittance envelope. The remittance should align with your theme and your “ask.” Generic envelopes generate generic less than stellar results.
  7. What is your plan to show gratitude to your donors? Remember, a receipt is not a thank you and therefore not a show of gratitude. Toss out that stuffy old thank you letter (“on behalf of the board, blah, blah, blah”) and create communications that shows truly sincere gratitude. Your message of gratitude should include “Because of you . . . . “ and “We couldn’t do this without you.

So, hopefully you are not more stressed than you were before you read this list. Your year-end efforts should be a joy not a nightmare. Remember, the work you do is important. You are changing lives for the better.

Find out how J. Milito & Associates can help assure you have a successful year end. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a free half hour consultation.

You had a good year for fundraising. You made your goal. Congratulations!

New donors! Fantastic.

But, did you know that you could have raised even more money by doing one little thing?

Yes, one simple little thing.

Your organization could raise more money for your mission and ministry . . . just by retaining more of your donors.

Retain more donors? Really?

But we hit our $$ goal. That’s what really matters. That’s what keeps the lights on. That’s what feeds the kids. That’s what helps the sick. That is what provides students scholarships.”

Does it really matter how many donors gave if we still hit our $$ goal?

Oh, yes. Yes it does!

And here is why.

üThe average donor retention rate is 46% (2016 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey)

üOn average, for every 100 donors you gain, you will lose at least 96 annually.

ü7 out of 10 first time donors will not make a 2nd gift.

üAfter 5 years, you’ll have only 3% of the donors you acquire this year.

üIt costs about 7x more to acquire a new donor than to retain an existing donor?

 Improving Retention Rates By Just 10% Can Increase the Total Amount of Money Donors Giveaccording to Dr. Adrian Sargeant.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to improve your retention rates and raise more money?

*  *  *  *

First, it is important to know your retention rate.

Use this simple, easy to understand formula . . . .

DONOR RETENTION RATE = Number of Donors who gave in 2014 and again in 2015

      ¸ Total number of donors who gave in 2014         

Ideally you want to be retaining at least 60% or more of your donors annually.

How do you retain more of your donors and raise more money?

Improve donor loyalty . . . by improving the donor experience . . . by valuing our donors for who they are, not just what they can give.

The goal is to make your donors feel good about their generosity. The goal is to make sure that your donors know that your entire organization appreciates their generosity.

The gift is the first step towards joining our community. It’s the beginning of the relationship; not the end.” ~ Claire Axelrad, J.D., CFRE

Happy donors are generous donors.

Focus on the person and the relationship first, not their wallet.” Sandy Rees, CFRE

Your job, regardless of how large or small your budget, is to make sure your donors are satisfied and proud of their gift (no matter how large or small).

Donors don’t give to you; they give through you to create the change they want to see.” ~ Claire Axelrad, J.D., CFRE

The first thing is thanking without an ask. “Sincerely thank your donor in a timely manner and then, once you’ve spent their funds, tell them the story of the impact their funds had on the people your organization serves.” ~ Lynne Wester

Make seven contacts with a donor within one year after the gift. For every one request you make for a gift, you need seven other meaningful contacts. Meaningful contacts are phone calls, personal visits, emails, hand written notes, etc. Meaningful contacts show and tell the donor the impact and power of their gift, where the money went, and how it was spent. Meaningful contacts are for ALL donors not just the “majors”.

Get to know your donors. Really get to know them. It is essential that you understand your individual donors.

  • Why they support your cause? What need of theirs is being met by supporting your cause?
  • What are their preferences? Annual Fund or Capital? Email or snail mail?
  • Why they stopped giving?

Donors want to know that you know who they are and why they support you. They want you to know why they increased their last gift. And they want you to know why they left after 5 years of giving.

Stop focusing so much time and resources on acquisition. It is expensive with a low return on investment. Future major donors and bequests are already supporting your mission and ministry with regular annual support. If you take the time to get to know them, all of them, you’ll find your lifelong supporters and benefactors.

In 2014, Giving USA reported that over $300 billion was given to charities by individuals. Over 1.5 million tax exempt organizations received piece of that very generous pie. Another $6 – 27.4 trillion in bequests will be made from 1998-2052.

With the volume of charitable dollars available, loyalty to your organization goes right out the window if another charity (or charities) provides a better donor experience.

So, remember: the goal is to improve the donor experience. An improved donor experience will result in loyal lifetime donors who give generously, faithfully and happily.

It’s just that simple.

 

* * For more than 20 years, J. Milito & Associates has worked with organizations of all types from coast to coast to help Retain, Renew and Upgrade their donors. Let us help you improve the donor experience so you can raise more money for your mission and ministry. Contact us today for your free 30 minute consultation.

You had a fantastic year end campaign. Donations were up. A few new donors even joined the family. But there were also some donors who lapsed and did not make a gift last year.

According to the 2015 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey organizations typically retain only 19% of their first time donors. Overall, retention rates are at 46%.

Usually it costs less to retain and motivate an existing donor than to attract a new one, and so taking positive steps to reduce gift and donor losses is often the best strategy to increase net fundraising gains at the least cost.”

One of the very best and most cost effective ways to retain your donors is to bring them into your monthly or recurring giving program.

Monthly giving can be a valuable part of your overall fundraising strategy. With realistic monthly giving options your organization can increase the size and volume of your donations.

Here are 5 reasons why you should engage your donors in monthly or recurring giving now . . .

  1. It’s convenient for your donor. The donor already supports your cause. Monthly giving is an opportunity for them to support your cause in a manner that is convenient, easy, and affordable for them. And, they won’t need to receive all those direct mail pieces.
  2. Your income will increase dramatically. Monthly donors tend to give an average of 42% more than annual donors. (Network for Good) What organization would turn away 42% more income from donors? Think of the impact those extra contributions could generate.
  3. Your relationship with your donors will improve. Monthly donor programs can help draw donors closer to your organization. They become more fully investing in your organization and its impact and are some of your best supporters. They are among your most loyal donors and can be especially generous in emergency situations and even capital campaigns. These donors are six to seven times more likely to make your organization a beneficiary in their wills.
  4. Donors will stay with your organization longer. On average, recurring or monthly donors will stay with your organization longer (5-10 years or more) and will give more money for more consecutive years than single-gift donors.
  5. Donors will give more to your organization. Tom Ahern calls monthly donors “major donors on an installment plan.” Those monthly contributions add up. A $50/year donor now becomes a $120/year donor with a $10/month gift. Over 5 years that is $600. That’s 42% more than one-time annual gifts.

What? No monthly giving program? No to worries.

Here are a few easy first steps

  • Start Now. January and February are the best months to start a monthly giving program. Many donors are setting in motion their plans and vision for their annual charitable giving. Tax statements go out and there may be some guilt from the end of the year.
  • Ask after a one-time donation. First thank your donors and share the benefits and impact. That said, they are more likely to take another action after a positive first action. Research shows that one of the best times to ask for a recurring or monthly gift is after their first gift or after a one-time gift.
  • Ask for small amounts. According to monthly giving guru Erica Waasdorp (Monthly Giving : the Sleeping Giant), “asking for low monthly ask amounts beat the higher monthly ask amounts. Monthly donors are typically those donors who cannot write big checks. You can start your first ask as low as $5 or $10. You really can upgrade donors later.” But don’t be too greedy at first.
  • Organize the basics. Make sure you’re ready with your website, your database, your accounting office. While you still need to send an annual tax receipt, your donors don’t need monthly thank you letters, but they need to hear from you regularly.
  • Pick up the phone. Use email and direct mail to solicit and communicate. To generate the highest response from your monthly giving campaign, include calls to your media mix. According to Erica Waasdorp “nothing works better than telemarketing. The response rate is simply higher than mail or email.” A combination of all three media strategies is ideal.

The downside, if there is one: It’s too easy to forget about your monthly donors. You don’t have to keep asking them. But you do have to keep connected to them. Or they will go away.

J. Milito & Associates can help you retain your donors with follow-up (1) to your email and direct mail solicitations and (2) to help you stay connected to your monthly donors, with professional phone calls on your behalf.

J. Milito & Associates turns conversations with your donors into pledge commitments at an average cost to you of just $.21 for every dollar raised.

If your current efforts are costing you more than that, we can save you money while you achieve your fundraising goals.

Contact J. Milito & Associates today to help you plan your monthly giving outreach and stewardship because your organization is worth it.

In appreciation for all you do to make the world a better place, J. Milito & Associates would like to give you 100 free donor "Thank You" Calls.

Why?

Because we know that saying "Thank You" is an essential part of your fund development activities.

  • Within 48 hours of receiving a gift, send a gift acknowledgement. (Remember: a receipt is not a Thank You).
  • Within two weeks of receiving a gift, send a personal “Thank You” note (hand signed and written if possible).
  • Before asking for another gift, call your donors (all of them) just to say "Thank You".

Research upon research tells us that donors who are truly and sincerely thanked (more than once) are at least 50% more likely to pledge again in the following year. And donors who receive a personal thank you call, are even more inclined to give again.

J. Milito & Associates wants to help you tell your donors that they truly make a difference -- to the children, the hungry, the students, the sick and frail, the parishioners, and the faithful.

During January, if you sign up for a new “Thank You” Call campaign with at least 100 donors, we will give you 100 free “Thank You” Calls. In other words, you get 200 Thank You Calls for the price of 100.

Contact us before January 31st for your free gift.

Remember, a phone call is a very special way to say "Thank You" to your donors. Your donors will be touched! And your retention rates will soar.

Happy New Year!

P.S. Here's A special New Year’s bonus:

"The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated." ~ William James

Welcome to the season of giving. Giving gifts. Giving donations. Giving thanks.

To get into the spirit of the season, we ask our donors and supporters to give to our year end campaigns. We ask them to support our cause, our mission, our ministry.

You worked tirelessly to create just the right “ask”. Just the right “ask” that will touch the hearts and wallets of your donors and supporters.

The gifts are arriving. Now your most important work begins.

Are you ready?

Giving is just a part of the equation. The other more important part is the gratitude you show your donors after the gift.

So, are you ready to shower your donors with gratitude?

Will you send your first expression of gratitude within 48 hours?

Will it be a true expression of gratitude or just a receipt?

Will the expressions of gratitude make the donors feel good and appreciated?

Will the donor know their gift made a difference?

Will the donor know that their gift changed the world . . . for the better?

Gratitude makes us feel good.

It makes us feel appreciated.

Thanking your donors, truly thanking them with an abundance of gratitude not just once, but multiple times is key to their ongoing engagement in your organization.

According to the 2015 Fundraising Effectiveness Project organizations retain only 19% of first time donors. It goes on to show that for every 100 donors your organization gains, you will lose 103 donors. Just think what would happen to your organization’s impact in the community if the 19% could be just doubled to 38%.

This 38% could be obtained simply by good old fashion relationship building and attention to basic details. Organizations that hit this target (and better) have created a basic plan for follow-up with every donor that involves ALL key team members.

First and foremost you must invite your donors to be your partners in your mission and ministry. You must invite them to walk along side with you to solve the problems your organization tackles daily.

Not your budget issues. Or the “gap”.

It’s all about those you serve, the reason you exist in the first place.

So take the time to shower your donors with an abundance of gratitude this season, and throughout all seasons of the year.

Jay Love, Founder & CEO of Bloomerang strongly believes that “making donors feel truly appreciated is what can separate you from the average nonprofit. All it takes are small changes in your donor communications efforts.”

Some of those “small changes” include:

  • A telephone call (to say thank you and welcome to new donors)
  • A personalized thank you (not a form letter)
  • A handwritten note (from leadership)
  • An impact statement showing exactly how the donation was used
  • A personal story from recipients of your mission shared directly with donors
  • Segment your donor communications. One-size does not fit all donors.
  • Look at the long-term in building relationships with new donors.
  • A short survey. Donors are investors in your mission and ministry. Ask their opinions.
  • Get together with donors to find out about them and their motivations for giving to your organization.

J. Milito & Associates can help you spread the gratitude. Our professional team can help you stay connected to your donors, supporters and friends. We can help you improve your donor retention. On your behalf we can say thank you!

So to each of you . . . Thank You!

Thank you for caring.

Thank you for making the world a better place.

Thank you for making a difference.

Now go out and spread the gratitude.

P.S. If you’ve made it to this part of the blog, THANK YOU! As a special gift to you, we like to extend a special offer – a free 30 minute consultation with Juddee (the “J” in J. Milito & Associates). After you complete your consultation with Juddee your name will be entered into a drawing for 100 free thank you calls.

 

What more is there than the gift? Isn’t getting the gift the only thing that really matters?

After all, we have a budget to meet. We have clients to serve. We have a building, and overhead, and expenses.

So we send out letters. We host galas. We produce an annual report and send newsletters to communicate how well we are doing.

But wait, we are short of our goal. Our direct mail fell flat. Can’t get our Board and Staff to contribute. Our gala didn’t raise enough money and we only got names from half of those who did attend. And our development office is understaffed.

If this sounds familiar, that’s ok. Take a breath. Read on.

As fundraisers we know that our work is important. We know that the health and well-being of our organization is dependent upon our work. Our outcomes.

But while we “chase the money” we overlook the most important component of the fundraising equation.

The Donor.

The donor? Yes. The donor does give the gift. They attend our galas. Their names are in our annual reports and on our buildings.

But donors need more. They want more. They deserve more.

Donors are so much more than ATM machines dispensing $10, $100, $1000 as our needs arise.

Donors are partners in our mission. They are with us because the mission and ministry matters to them. They have reserved a place for our organization in their heart.

According to researchif organizations want to raise money for a charitable cause, it is far better to appeal to the heart than to the head. Feelings, not analytical thinking, drive donations.”

Science shows that “giving increases the amount of dopamine and serotonin in our brains—leading to increased happiness.” Giving actually makes donors happy!

The Association of Fundraising Professionals defines fundraising as “the raising of assets and resources from various sources for the support of an organization or a specific project.” Blah, blah, blah . . . .

In reality “Fundraising” is about helping people connect their existing passion directly to your cause.   It’s not about “convincing” them to give. It’s about helping them realize that they already care. Donors believe that it is a “privilege” to give to charity.

Fundraising is about what we do WITH our donors not TO our donors.

According to nonprofit guru Jeff Brooks, “When you ask [for a gift of support], you become part of the donor's world — a place where love, empathy and self-empowerment combine with generosity to make the world and the donor better.”

Yes you need the money to fulfill your mission. Without it you can’t exist. Neither can we exist without a community of passionate and faithful donors. It is their commitment to your cause, their connection to your good work that inspires their giving.

And remember, you are not the only charity Mr. & Mrs. Donor are supporting.

The results of the 2014 AFP Fundraising Effectiveness Survey shows organizations lose at least 57 percent of their donors annually. This translates into more than $25 billion in donations at stake. That’s significant turnover and missed opportunity.

Donors tell us that in making their giving decisions, they need to . . .

  1. Know their money is used wisely,
  2. Feel that the organization has a good reputation,
  3. Have a strong belief in the organization’s mission, and
  4. Believe that their support [truly] makes a difference.

Dr. Adrian Sargeant tells us that

“to keep donors loyal and happy and giving [year after year], you only have to connect two dots. Dot #1: the generous, wonderful, compassionate, kind donor. Dot #2: The good outcome that your donors’ grand and empathetic hearts will make possible (children saved, poor fed, people in crisis helped). Connect these two dots. Only those dots. [No third dot about your charity.] Your donors will not respond to that stuff. Just the opposite, in fact. When you insert a big fat third dot all about you [your organization], donors give less and leave sooner.”

You can keep doing what you're doing and you'll keep getting the results you've been getting,” or you can put the Donor at the center of your fundraising equation.

Donors give with their heart. They believe giving is a privilege. They want to be inspired. They want to feel appreciated.

They want to walk with us side-by-side in fulfilling the mission and ministry.

Because, giving makes them happy.

This is an exciting time! Go through your database. Get to know your donors. Call each of them at least once per year regardless of how much they give. Celebrate their passion and generosity. Tell them a lot how their gift made a difference -- to the children, the seminarians, the sick and frail, the parishioners, and the faithful.

If you do this, you’ll get the gift(s) and so very much more.

 

-published in July 2015 "Dimensions", a publication of the National Catholic Development Conference

“In good times and bad, we know that people give because you meet [their] needs, not because you have needs.”~ Kay Sprinkel Grace

Fundraising is about helping people connect their existing passion directly to your cause.   It’s not about “convincing” them to give. It’s about helping them realize that they already care.

Most donors give from the heart. According to a research “if organizations want to raise money for a charitable cause, it is far better to appeal to the heart than to the head. Put another way, feelings, not analytical thinking, drive donations.”

Giving benefits donors’ health. Scientific studies show that “giving not only provides donors with a sense of purpose, but it also increases the amount of dopamine and serotonin in our brains—leading to increased happiness.”

So it is essential that your organization have simple, emotionally compelling messages that are regularly shared with donors and the community. A story that touches the heart and makes a person feel good, will most likely inspire giving. Donors remain generous donors when their hearts are full and happy.

While we know it is far easier and cheaper to raise money from your current donors, it’s also good to engage new friends, alumni, and family into the organization’s giving community.

These folks are called non-donors, or as I like to call them, “not yet donors”.

So what is the difference between donors and non-donors and how do you engage and support their giving relationship with your organization?

A donor is "a person who donates something, especially money to a fund or charity.” They have been “asked” in a way that touches their heart, prompting an affirmative response.

According to nonprofit guru Jeff Brooks:

Nearly everyone you communicate with when you raise funds is squarely in the donor category. These people donate!  

They're always free to say no to any request, but they operate under this "deal": If you go to them with a compelling, meaningful and relevant reason to give, and if they agree with you, trust you and the time is right for them, they give.

When you ask, you become part of the donor's world — a place where love, empathy and self-empowerment combine with generosity to make the world and the donor better.

I can't think of any other relationship in the wider marketing world where the "buyer" and the "seller" are so perfectly aligned or where so much good accrues to both sides.

This is utterly liberating. You don't have to tiptoe and apologize around donors. You can be bold and joyful, and that always leads to stronger fundraising.”

In other words, most all people are donors. They give, just not to your organization. They are your “not-yet-donors”.

So how do we engage these “not-yet-donors”?

How do we inspire the passion in the “not-yet-donor” that helps them realize they want to help the cause?

  1. Remember . . . they are already donors, just not to your cause . . . yet.
  2. Believe deeply in your heart and head that donors matter.
  3. Genuinely respect and honor your donors and the difference that they make in the world. Don’t treat them like ATM machines.
  4. Make your “ask” about them, not you. This is not a one-night stand. Donors want to know you’ll be there in the “morning”.
  5. Show and tell the donors what’s in it for them. Demonstrate that good feeling a donor can receive from taking action. Be enthusiastic and real.
  6. Speak directly to the donors and their likes and interests. Connect with them. Find a way to build a relationship with them as you guide them into the donor family.
  7. Share stories regularly about how donors’ gifts are making a difference.
  8. Say “Thank You” a lot and mean it.
  9. Ask them for a specific amount to contribute to the cause. They need you to ask for exactly what you want. Be confident. Be direct. Be specific.
  10. Have fun!

* * *

Connect with these not-yet-donors via direct mail, email, social media and special events and, yes, even telefundraising.

Telefundraising remains one of the most effective means of communications when attempting to convert supporters to donors. The practice enables a dialogue between nonprofits and their perspective donors, which can lay the foundation for engaged activists and consistent support and engagement.” (Gabe Raff)

Contact J. Milito & Associates today for help connecting you with your not-yet-donors.

You’ll be glad you did!

Do you hear the clock ticking?

If your fiscal year ends June 30, you have less than 120 days to meet your Annual Fund Goal.

Are you going to meet your goal?

Your leadership is counting on you…..to meet your goal.

Your students and their parents are counting on you….to have enough tuition assistance funds to keep tuition affordable and accessible.

Your valuable teachers are counting on you…..to provide funding for classroom resources and professional development.

So with 120 days to fiscal year end, what is your strategy for finishing strong so your school or organization can continue its mission and strong tradition as you close out this year?

Here are 4 simple things you should be doing right now to help you meet your goal . . .

  1. Identify an “angel”, a benefactor who will provide a “Matching Gift Challenge.” Leveraging a larger gift is a great way to inspire your donors and supporters to give a gift of support.
  2. Put the finishing touches on your final (spring) direct mail appeal of the year and mail very soon to your lapsed donors who have not given you a gift yet this fiscal year. Make sure your message inspires your donors to give. Make it short and sweet and remember: Thank your awesome donors and let them know how they are needed to help reach your goal – “Our current and future students are counting on you to help us reach our goal and put us over the top!”
  3. Use all your social media, publications, postcards, year-end events and eblasts your powerful message to everyone else who is connected with your school.
  4. Follow up the letter and eblasts with a phone-a-thon to personally reach out and reconnect with your lapsed donors to ask for that gift of support.

It can all be done and we can help. We have an easy 5-step process for conducting a successful phone-a-thon for your school and the good news is that there’s still time!

The clock is ticking……..5 Steps to a Successful Phone-a-thon

During this season of love and romance we are reminded just how important it is for us to demonstrate our love and appreciation for our donors. And oh so important, to not just show our love during the Valentine’s season, but also throughout the year. Make Valentine’s Day every day for your donors.

The reality is, that if you don’t make your donors feel good about their experience of giving to your organization, they’ll will most certainly move on to another equally deserving but more attentive organization.

In a 2006 study, Jorge Moll and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health found that when people give to charities, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect. Scientists also believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high.”

Your organization is responsible for keeping that “warm glow” alive in your donors.

And remember . . . all of your donors, the $25 donor and the $5,000 donor, deserve your LOVE . . . .

  1. Say Thank You and mean it. Thank ALL of your donors often. Say “thank you” like you mean it. Thank them warmly and sincerely, and help them feel good about their decision to give to your organization. Thank them in a handwritten notes and personal phone calls. Remember a gift receipt is NOT a Thank you. If all you send is a receipt, your donor will not feel the appreciation required to make a second gift.
  2. Communicate with your donors (not at them). Make sure you tell your donors all about the great things they made possible. Engage them in conversation. Talk person to person. Communicate with them like they are your very best friend since grade school. The great Tom Ahern says, “Your job . . . is to bestow purpose and meaning in exchange for support. That's all you have to do. It's simple.
  3. Shower your donors with tales of their excellence and value. Your donors want to know what your organization is doing that matters. They want to know how your programs are changing lives, are making a difference. They are not so interested in hearing about what a great organization you are. They want to hear about the transformational donor experiences of their peers (other donors).
  4. Focus on the donor and the dollars will follow. It is about building relationships. It is about connecting with people who believe so passionately in your mission that they are willing to give of themselves and their resources to help you make a difference in the world. Each donor is a unique partner in your life changing work. Focus on what they want to do with their giving and why it giving to your cause is important to them. Then help them. And remember, please don’t treat your donors like they are ATM machines.
  5. Be Accountable . . . Be a Good Steward. Trust is a precious commodity. You have been entrusted to uphold your organization’s mission by the people who support you with their money, time, and trust. You must be transparent. You donors need to know that you did in fact use their gift for the purposes you outlined in your solicitations. Being accountable for the funds you raise will keep your donors contributing to your cause. Lost trust is difficult if not impossible to repair. According to Stephen Covey, “Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
  6. Listen and Ask. Do you know your donors? Not their name, address, last gift, and giving potential. Do you know what inspires, drives, and excites them? Do you know why they give to your organization? Don’t assume you know the answer to these questions. You need to interact regularly with your donors to know who they are and what prompts their decision to give to your organization. There is so much you could learn from your donors. Be open to what they have to say and offer. Be sincere. This will create a special bond that builds trust and relationship.

Do you love your donors? Do they feel the love?

Contact J. Milito & Associates today.  We can help you show your donors the "Love" they deserve.

4 Things Your Organization Must Do in 2015.

Wow, so hard to believe it is 2015. It seems like yesterday when we stressed about Y2K.

Where does the time go?

At the beginning of the New Year, many of us take time to reflect on the past year and resolve to make changes and try new things.

Others may unconsciously hit the “replay” button, because last year was “just fine”.

This year can be an important year for you and your organization. Waiting out there are a lot of surprises and joys. And some difficulties and disappointments also. It is up to you how successful and fulfilling 2015 can be for your organization.

Richard and Jeff in their Passionate Giving Blog share 4 things your organization must do to have a good 2015.

  • Remember what your work is all about. It is about healing the hurts, bringing light and understanding to a situation, creating awareness, and calling all of us back to this fact: there are people out there who need our help. Come back to that reality and get grounded in it.
  • Remember fundraising is mostly about donors. The donors want to make a difference this year. Your job is to help them do it. You should be primarily focused on helping the donor make a difference, not on getting their money. Keep this focus and balance in all the work you will do throughout this year.
  • Celebrate the difference that has been made. Work extra hard this year to tell your donors that their giving has made a difference. This is the Achilles heel of fundraising –that results in thousands of good donors simply going away and taking their millions of dollars to other organizations. Make a specific commitment to constantly tell each donor what their giving has done. It will bring them a lot of joy, and it will keep them as donors.
  • At least once a week, let your heart be broken by the brokenness of others and the state of our planet. On a regular basis, specifically seek stories and situations that will remind you of reality and call you back to the important values we are committed to. Stay in touch with the reality of your work. $100 is a lot of money and that $100 can do so very much in the life of another person.

So ask yourself, does your plan for 2015 include pushing the “replay” button for more of the same? If you are satisfied with your 20% retention rate and the high cost of acquiring new donors, then keep doing that same-old, same old.

Or will you take what you have learned and experienced last year and remember what your work is all about? Will you try new things? Take risks? Learn from your mistakes? Pick yourself up and try again?

The results will amaze you!

Let the team at J. Milito & Associates be part of your 2015 plan. Let us help you remind your donors that their giving does indeed make a difference!

Happy 2015!