When fundraising, it can be a common occurrence to share at church or a small group and have someone walk up to you afterward and hand you a check or some cash because they were moved to be a part of what God is doing in the world through your ministry.

These one-time gifts can be very encouraging for us—but if we don’t handle them the right way, we will miss out on future partnerships and funding.

We often see one-time donations as the end of the road. But, if we are going to turn those one-time donations into ongoing partnerships, it is important to know that a first-time gift is only the beginning.

As often as you can, respond to one-time donations with a question that extends an invitation to join your team long-term.

First, start by thanking them and then ask this question: “We’re also looking for people to partner on a monthly basis… Is that something you would be interested in hearing more about?”

Surprisingly, people don't even realize this is an option, so let them know!

In many instances, this one question has taken someone from being a distant acquaintance who gave $100 one-time to a new friend, a monthly partner, and a massive supporter for years to come.

Remember, you are more likely to get a second gift from a donor if you handle the first gift well. Here are 3 simple ways to do that from our e-book, Get More Funding WITHOUT Adding More Donors:

1. Say, “Thank You.” Treat the first donation as the beginning of a beautiful friendship by personally thanking the donor within 48 hours of the donation. (Studies have shown that when you call and thank the donor within 48 hours, they are four times more likely to give a second gift.) Not only that, studies have also shown donors are likely to give up to 50% more on the second gift than the first gift if they are properly thanked within that time frame!

2. Explain Why Their Giving Matters. Donors are more likely to give to a ministry when they feel like their money is making a difference. Share stories of impact and connect the impact back to your donor!

3. Discover Their Passions. Plug your donors into the ministry by getting to know their passions. People are more likely to stay and give to an organization when they are passionate about the work being done. If you don’t know what their passions are—ask!