Talk to Your Donors NOW!

Stewardship Stewardship Stewardship

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Okay let’s stop worrying, complaining, talking about the economy.  While our colleagues are doing that, why don’t we love the donors we have?

Fundraising 101 is all about CULTIVATION and solicitation. Well let’s go back to basics and deepen the relationships with our current and potential donors.  Find out more about them, what interests them. The focus is outward.

The good news is: more time out of the office, on the phone, being with the people who make our work possible. Come on admit it…this is the fun part of the job. Let’s get to it!

Remember to include individual, corporate and foundation donors – they are all people. Let’s believe in abundance and we will have it, make it happen, be there to reap the rewards.


1.       Call 15 donors everyday – Say “Hello!”, ask them how they are, share some news.

·         Segment your donor list – start with your largest donors and work your way through the list

·         Ask others to call too – Executive Director, Program Director, Board President and Board members

·         Smile while you are on the phone, they will hear it in your voice

2.       Visit in person with at least two donors every week

3.       Send a personal note or card to at least two donors a week. Put a stamp on it.

4.       Ask their opinion – on a new program, donor recognition idea, annual report draft, newsletter design, partnership program

5.       Invite them to an event as your guest – yours or a networking or community event

6.       Do not to miss a birthday or anniversary – make a call, send a card with a note

7.       Host a donor networking event – let them meet each other – no fundraising allowed

8.       Email news or info you think they might be interested in – unrelated to your organization

9.       Send a small, unexpected token – it’s the thought that counts, don’t go blowing the budget or cause the donor to wonder why you are spending money on it. You will be out one day and you will come across it or an idea will hit you.

10.   Insert your idea here!


This is what fundraising is all about to me.  If we really reach our donors, find out what’s important to them our partnership will grow in good times and not-so-good times.


Share your ideas. What’s working for you? How are you reaching donors?

2 thoughts on “Talk to Your Donors NOW!

  1. Barbara, this is great advice and you’re absolutely right. Talking to our donors is more important now than ever. We’re finding through phone programs that donors – and even prospective donors – want to hear about what our organizations are doing. They want to know that we’re out there carrying out our missions and providing the services we said we would with their money. And even the donors who have had to give less or lapse this year want to know how we’re weathering the storm and that they’re still appreciated. Most fundraisers I know are really good talkers anyway!

    1. Thanks for commenting on my blog Clay. Glad to hear you are finding the communication with your donors going well! And instead of talking about the economy we should just talk to our donors!

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