Planning Communications with Major Donors in Mind

A good place to begin your communications planning is here, here and especially here

Overall annual (fundraising) campaign planning templates and resources can be found here.

The Barcelona Principles offers an outcomes metrics framework for public relations.

This other Charity Spring blog/page addresses PR for your cause.

Know who your major donors and prospects are and how to influence them through traditional, new and social media. Define your major donor threshold with the help of a Gift Range Calculator. Classify your donor and prospect pools (by capacity, inclination, linkage). Assign solicitors (staff and/or volunteers) and build portfolios. Identify stages of solicitation (identification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship). Track your actions. Show your appreciation (repeatedly, thoughtfully, tastefully, sincerely).

Your greatest source of new and increased funding is the group of donors who are already giving at the major donor level. Your continual cultivation of their interest, personal recognition of their involvement, and consistent communication about your activities and opportunities will inspire their continued support and also inspire their personal networks to consider your charity’s value proposition.

The temptation is to spend more time on acquiring new donors while neglecting relationships with existing major donors. Fundraising by attraction needs to be your primary methodology for gaining new donors. There is hardly any more powerful incentive for someone new to support your cause than to read, see or hear about a friend or colleague already making your cause her priority. Your current donors are your most precious donors and most powerful advocates. Serve and sincerely promote them and new donors will follow.

Communicating with Major Donors

Mail should be highly personalized and prompt. Thoughtful charity thank-you gifts such as a personalized video, photo, or photo book are helpful. Tasteful acknowledgement gifts such as something engraved or framed are useful inasmuch as the donor may display the gift for peers to admire (and inquire about).

Donor giving programs should be designed with care. Major donor societies, cumulative giving programs and other forms of honoring major donors faithfully serve the purpose of creating “pride of association” when implemented and sustained with convincing dignity.

Charity Spring Splash on all things having to do with your fundraising plan.

Charity Spring Splash on all things having to with prospect research.

Forms of Communications

The power of social media is interactivity – conversations, not broadcasting

The power of print and online newspapers is news.

The power of magazines is credibility.

The power of radio is intimacy.

The power of direct mail is urgency.

The power of the telephone (not telemarketing, which is deadly) is rapport. To be used adroitly.

The power of the brochure is the ability to give details.

The power of television is to demonstrate.

The power of signs is impulse reactions.

The power of fliers is economy.

The power of billboards is to remind.

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