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AFP Top Ten Fundraising Tips (Week of July 25, 2018): Donor Polls, Donor Meetings, Donor Outreach & More Donor Stuff!

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Need some tips on how to do your job better? Or maybe just a reminder on some key skills, the insight on the latest research, and the latest, coolest ideas from the best minds in the fundraising profession?

Each week, AFP gathers the top blog posts, videos, articles and other resources to help you keep on top of latest trends and reach your fundraising goals. Here’s this week’s Top Ten:

1. Using Donor Satisfaction & Commitment Surveys to Find Your Best Donor Prospects (bloomerang): How often do you survey your donors? If you aren’t, you could be missing out on a golden opportunity to find your best planned gift prospects, dramatically deepen your donor relationships, boost their loyalty, raise more money and even secure gifts in the process. 

2. Annual Giving Is Not an Event (Nonprofit PRO): An effective annual giving program is not a one-time event; it is a coordinated, yearlong program targeting your various donor constituencies with the most tailored and personal approaches, communication and stewardship possible.

3. Three Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas That Sound Good, But Aren’t (Alan Cantor): H.L Mencken famously said, “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.” One problem facing nearly every nonprofit organization is a shortage of operating money. And, sure enough, there are well-known solutions that are neat, plausible… and, yes, in most cases, very wrong.

4. Three Secrets to Successful Major Donor Meetings (Blue Sky Philanthropy): getting more strategic about how you use your time in donor meetings can help take your relationships – and your major gift program – to the next level. Here are three secrets that will help make your next major donor meeting a huge success.

5. Six Successful Major Donor Outreach Activities (Network for Good): Each major donor has their own reasons for giving to your organization. They also have individual preferences about personal attention and connectivity. Mix-and-match these outreach activities—and create some of your own—to steward your major donors and reap the benefits.

6. Six Steps to Make Your Communications Sticky (moceanic): How do you make sure that everything you write grabs the reader’s attention, engages them and makes something happen? After all, there is no point writing stuff that doesn’t have the desired outcome.

7. Keep Focused on the Long Term (Veritus Group): The short-term impact (plus or minus) of our work or our errors is dwarfed by the long-term effects. Compounded over time, little things become big things. In fundraising and major gifts, this is about lifetime value.

8. It’s Getting Late…Do You Know Where Your Gift Policies Are? (The Nonprofit Quarterly): Wise nonprofits know that accepting a gift from any individual or institution links your reputation to theirs. Although this story is more about elected officials, it makes the same point.

9. Is Your Nonprofit’s Legacy Society Dreary . . . or Dynamic? (Fired Up Fundraising): If you want more bequests and planned gifts, then humanize and raise the profile of your Legacy Society. Think of it in terms of marketing and promotion– not just a stewardship vessel.

10. What To Do When Membership Is Declining (Associations Now): While the outlook for many membership organizations might seem rosy, there are still some associations struggling with membership declines—a quarter of all survey respondents reported a decrease in the last year.