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How to Reach Out to New Donors (the right way)

How to Reach Out to New Donors (the right way)

Today, we’re going to give you 5 easy steps to getting the response you want when reaching out to new partners (and following up with already-committed ones as well).

1. Send a Physical Letter: Why? Because in today’s world—it simply stands out! It also shows that you are willing to invest your time and resources into connecting with your donors, which is pretty important when you're asking for their time and resources. (And, everyone likes to get mail.)

2. Follow-Up with a Phone Call: Yes, an actual phone call. Again, because it stands out. Now, you should also know that most people won't answer. But that doesn't negate the value of you making the call in the first place. If you have phone anxiety, check out one of our favorite calling apps: (You can thank us later.)

3. Follow-Up with Another Form of Communication: After the call, move on to another form of communication: email, text, FB message, etc. Cycle through these forms of communication every three days for two weeks to keep in touch (and to keep at the front of the donor’s mind).

4. What to Do if There is No Response: If your potential donor is completely unresponsive, send a final email saying you wanted to reach out "one last time.” Saying “one last time” is key to seeing if they are truly interested in getting together to hear more about partnership (or if they are avoiding you altogether).

5. Constant Communication. Make sure each time you follow up (except for the "one last time" scenario) you let your potential donor know that you are going to follow up again. A simple, "I'll give you a call in a few days," or "If I don't hear back from you in the next few days, I'll reach out again,” will do. This lets them know reaching out to them is a priority to you (which often encourages them to make it a priority to get back with you).

Communicating with our current and future donors can be tricky. To learn more about the keys to communication, check out our e-book, How to Get a Generous Response (Almost) Every Time You Ask.

Tech Tools for Fundraising

Tech Tools for Fundraising

In our fast-paced society, technology is ever-growing and ever-changing. Rather than resisting the change, we have some technology-based tools that can help with your fundraising efforts—resulting in saving you time and making you money!

Support systems are designed to help you stay on track and fundraising can become overwhelming if you don’t have the right tools.

These top 4 technology tools are not only helpful systems and apps, but they make life easier as a fundraiser! (You can thank us later.)

1.Utilize Video Technology: Did you know that building your partnership team via video chat can be just as effective as meeting with someone in person? Distance can no longer be an excuse for not meeting with someone "face to face.” You can schedule a meeting with anyone, from anywhere in the world (some of those meetings will just happen to be virtual). So, the next time you think you can't meet with someone because they're far away—take advantage of technology and schedule that meeting on Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts. And, this is not only a useful way to make up for distance, it can make up for time or last-minute changes. We recently had a potential partner ask to cancel a meeting because she had to stay home with her sick child, but instead of canceling, we asked if it would be convenient to meet over video chat after the child went to bed. She thought it was a great idea and it allowed us to connect and not miss out on that precious meeting time!

2.Simple Sam: Simple Sam makes fundraising easy. If you don’t know where to begin in making a funding plan, this is a great place to start. Simple Sam actually creates a funding plan for you, keeps track of your progress and creates a database of your partners and contacts. It’s like having an experienced fundraising professional always at your disposal—and the best part is, it keeps working for you way past being fully-funded.

3.If No Reply: You would be surprised how much time you waste going back through to check whether or not your donors responded to your last email. If No Reply is a system created to take “follow up” off your to-do list. It allows you to set up a sequence of emails, and if the recipient doesn't reply to the first one, If No Reply will automatically send them a second. If they don’t reply to that one, it will send a third. This is a great time-saver because you can use this resource to send emails to all of your donors at once with different templates for different donors and recipients (personalized templates for requesting a meeting or asking for volunteers). If No Reply is also a Gmail plugin, so it sends directly from your Gmail account to the recipient’s inbox—not a promotions tab or spam folder! I have a 90% open rate on my emails when I use this system. It’s a great tool for communicating efficiently, in an authentic way, with a lot of people.

4.Slydial: Do you tend to procrastinate every time you have to make phone calls to your donors? Are you looking for a more efficient way to thank donors in a personal way? Slydial is an app that connects your call directly to your donor’s voicemail allowing you to leave a message in their mailbox. The phone won’t even ring on their end, giving you the opportunity to leave a message for them with the information you were calling about. If you need to thank a lot of people and don’t necessarily have time for a conversation—SlyDial is a great system to use to save time and still leave a personal message for your donor.

Remember, fundraising should be fun. There’s no reason to make it harder on yourself than it needs to be. If you enjoyed these tips, check out more at

Donors not responding? Try this.

Donors not responding? Try this.

When flying internationally, we will often experience something called jet lag. Extreme tiredness or exhaustion is common when crossing back and forth between multiple time zones. You end up feeling disoriented, out of sorts, and time can seem to pass by very slowly.

The same thing can happen in fundraising. We call this: donor lag.

Quite often, when fundraising, you'll meet with people who seem interested in giving to your ministry or cause—but they take forever before getting back with you about their financial decision.

So, you’re stuck, waiting, unsure of how to approach them.

Until now.

We’ve come up with 2 simple steps any fundraiser can use to prevent donor lag from happening to you (or your donors) ever again.

First, make the invitation to partner very clear. When meeting with a friend, family member, or acquaintance, always be clear in your invitation to partner with you. A clear invitation always includes the following:

  • Tie the invitation to partner to the impact your ministry is making.

  • Tell them how their giving is going to make a difference!

  • Ask for a specific amount. Asking for a specific amount from your potential donor might seem pushy, but we have found that over 90% of people prefer to be asked for a specified number. And, in almost all cases, asking for a specific amount is going to generate the most authentic response from your donor. By directly asking, "Would you be willing to partner at this level?" you are clearly stating a financial need that they can respond to with a yes or no answer.

Second, be sure to say thank you and immediately plan the follow-up.

After you make your invitation to partner, they may respond, "Yes, we will join your team, but we need time to think about the amount.”

Thank them for their decision, and then say this: "Would it be alright with you if I text you tomorrow or the next day to see what you've decided? This would help me with my planning purposes, and let my organization know about your decision to partner with us."

This simple response will save you hours of multiple phone calls trying to follow-up with numerous partners, and just like a first-class ticket—you and your donors will be enjoying your new partnership—donor lag free.

Still unsure of how to get your donors to respond? Work with one of our professional fundraising coaches today.