Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse . . . a bit of good news!
Good news, because of you.
Thank you for persevering through this time of upheaval and uncertainty.
Thank you for putting your mission front and center.
Thank you for reaching out to your supporters, telling your story and inspiring them to action.
The latest from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project shows that charitable giving in the first half of 2020 increased by almost 7.5 percent over the first half of 2019. The second quarter also marked a five-year high in the number of donors and contributions.
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, “While donors at all levels have stepped up in a big way during the pandemic, those who gave less than $250 were a major driver of growth. The number of small donations increased 19.2 percent over the first six months of last year. That may be due in part to the $300 universal charitable deduction that was enacted as part of the Cares Act.”
Additionally, the number of midlevel donors, who made gifts of $250 to $999, and major donors, who made gifts of $1,000 or more, increased year-over-year by 8.1 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively.
So, how were your results?
Did your donors step up and help sustain your mission and those you serve?
We’ve talked to many of you over the past months.
Many of you have “pivoted” beautifully, reaching out and connecting with more donors with more personal communications and powerful and impactful messaging. Events in many instances, have become truly “special”, using new and creative strategies to draw in new attendees and actually raising more money as a result.
Others we spoke with are waiting, waiting for things to change, to improve, to go back to “normal”. I suspect they did not see such positive results.
So, where do we go from here?
We can’t rest on our laurels or expect what was will continue. One of the most important things you can do right now is to maintain the growth and retain your supporters is to build strong relationships with donors and inspire them to continue giving, what they can, when they can.
The best way to do this is to say “thank you” straight from your heart. There is nothing that makes another feel appreciated more than showering them with sincere gratitude.
Your mission is important. Those you serve have had their loads lightened a bit, because of the generosity of many. Let donors know how important they are now and in the uncertain future that lies before us.
And make sure there is enough gratitude to go around for your team (staff, volunteers, board). And most important, save a big helping of gratitude for yourself. You deserve it.
Join us on Tuesday, October 20 at 9am (EST) for a conversation “Gratitude and Stewardship: The Secret to Raising More Money”. Gratitude and Stewardship is key to any successful fundraising program. We will discuss how to make our donors feel appreciated and engaged not just during times of crisis, but all the time. Register here.
Be a part of the conversation!
Susan donates $500 to your organization.
So, how do you acknowledge the gift and express gratitude to Susan?
Does your organization recognize Susan as a major donor? Or an average donor?
Susan considers this a "major" gift, the largest she gives to any organization.
Susan is what some might consider a “mid-level donor” – a donor stuck between the average and major donors.
And much of the time, those “mid-level” donors get lost, forgotten and neglected.
Susan and her fellow “mid-level” donors make up a larger percentage of overall regular giving than the average or major donors. And, they tend to give at above-average levels without much cultivation.
But imagine what Susan might be inspired to give with a little attention and gratitude.
If you can get Susan and other mid-level donors like her to renew their gifts, the likelihood of renewing them again goes up an average of 20% to 61%. (Fundraising Effectiveness Project).
How we keep “mid-level” donors like Susan engaged and generous is all about stewardship. They need our help. They need our guidance. They need our sincere gratitude.
The "mid-level" donor needs us to
If we do these things they will remain lifelong friends of your organization.
Because a good stewardship plan for your “mid-level” donors like Susan pays off in the long run.
Susan and other “mid-level” donors are most likely to become your future major donors, capital donors, and legacy donors.
Let J. Milito & Associates work with your organization to identify your current “mid-level” donors and create a stewardship plan that will result in success for your organization and all your Susan’s!
“Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.” - William Butler Yeats
Welcome back to school!
This new school year represents new opportunities to “light the fire”.
“Light the fire” . . .
in your students – inspire emotional and spiritual growth.
in your staff and faculty – encourage mentoring and sharing of their wisdom and knowledge.
in your school community – highlight the positive impact on your students.
in your friends and donors – compel their hearts and souls to give.
Your families, friends and donors want you to ask them for a gift of support.
They need to give. They want to give.
You just have to ask them. You have to “light the fire” within them.
So, how can YOU “light the fire”?
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” – Maya Angelou
You ask your donors for money to pay for “X” – the new addition, a soccer field, technology, the “gap” between what it costs to educate and the tuition you collect.
Your donors give you money to pay for “X”. But to them, it is NOT about money. It is about helping, about changing the world, about making a difference.
“Your donors, like all people need to give. It’s about something outside of ourselves, and not about money.” Donors know it is good to give. They give with joy. Giving blesses the giver. When donors give, they confirm their deepest and truest feelings; their hearts guide their behavior. Giving transforms the donors’ lives and the lives of others. (R Perry & J. Schreifels)
To your donors, it is about educating students. It’s about creating future leaders. It’s about creating good Christian leaders and citizens.
As you plan your next fundraising appeal, ask the following questions:
“The best fundraising is simple and focused. It tells a fast, vivid, real-life story. It promises results and offers proof that those results will happen. It gives donors a ton of credit for making the results possible. It is a pleasurable, empowering, spirit-renewing experience for the donor.” (T. Ahern)
Let your fundraising tell your school’s story . . . where you have been; where you are; where you are going.
If you can “light the fire” in your donors; if you can elicit that emotional response, your friends and donors will give your school a gift of support.
Then you can say to your donor . . . . “Because of your gifts, we can teach tomorrow’s leaders. Because of you, great things happen. Thank you.”
Let J. Milito & Associates help you “light the fire” and transform the lives of your donors thereby blessing the lives of the children we serve.
Contact us today.