Your story is the bedrock of any fundraising campaign, and the execution of that campaign.
Sharing your story and using your story to receive donations both now and into the future is achieved by following the fundraising campaign cycle.
There are two phases to the fundraising campaign cycle, the first is getting donors and the second is keeping them.
Phase 1 of the donation cycle is what has been discussed so far in blogs 1 to 6 and via our Fundraising for Sport video series. This is the method of sharing your story by following these steps
PHASE 2 – KEEPING DONORS
Keeping your donors is the second half of the cycle and the core theme throughout this phase is communication.
1. Donor Return
This does not mean giving donors a material benefit, but rather ensuring your donors know that their donation is appreciated and also that their donation has been meaningful to your organisation and has made an impact.
2. Project Plan
Having a project plan, which you follow, will enable you to have vision over what is working and what is not – this includes communicating with donors. The beauty about fundraising is that it is flexible. If a method of communication or raising money is not having the desired impact, then you can and should look into something else and be flexible enough to try that approach.
3. Impact & Outcomes
You need to communicate all impact and outcomes of your fundraising program. Donors and everyone involved in the fundraising program need to be regularly kept up to date with how they have helped enact change. Along with thanking your donors, this is an excellent tool and topic to use when maintaining communication with your donors.
4. Culture, Resource & Governance
As discussed in episode 3, “Keys to a successful fundraising organisation”, having a culture and governance system supported by your entire organisation, the resources to both raise the money and ensure ongoing communication with donors is vital for the longevity of any fundraising program.
Communication is proven as the single most important tool in maintaining an ongoing relationship with any current or prospective donor. It is a vital component in the successful sharing of your story and raising target funds.
In our next instalment we discuss how to keep donors engaged, how to thank them, and also share an easy to follow formula to help you manage your communication program.
Mark Thompson Director of Fundraising