A Holistic Donor-centred Approach to Raising Funds

Delicious fruit doesn’t just “happen”. You need the right conditions – soil, moisture, sunlight, temperature. If the tree is to bear abundant and delicious fruit over a sustained period of time, it’s not enough for the tree to simply look healthy.

You cannot simply focus on the 180 degrees above the ground surface. The entire tree must be nurtured – roots and all.

You have to take a 360 degree approach to cultivating and nurturing your tree.

Like delicious fruit, profitable long-term donors don’t just “happen”.

You need to craft donor-centred solicitations and send out prompt, customized thank you letters. You need to finesse your external 180 degrees of touchpoints with donors.

To sustain healthy relationships with donors you need to … exceed donor expectations … earn donor trust and commitment … find out what motivates your donors … engage donors as partners in making the world a better place … you need the buy-in of everyone within the organization. Then you can maximize the philanthropic potential of each donor.

You need a culture of philanthropy – an holistic approach that involves all stakeholders, including the Board and other volunteers, all fundraising teams, communications, program staff, and supporting departments. All with a common goal and purpose – the mission.


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Another Donor Complaint – So Who Cares?!

Another Donor Complaint – So Who Cares?!

The Donor cared enough to complain. And if you have any interest in raising funds for your cause, you HAVE to care! Here’s why: Take a look at the percentage of net revenue (i.e.“profit”) that comes from your existing donor pool. Unless you’ve just had an ice-bucket challenge, you are raising substantially more net revenue from your existing donor pool than you are from first time donors. You need to keep as many donors as possible. Non-financial transactions like complaints are a good indicator of loyalty. (If you have a “complaints database” or record donor-initiated human interaction in donor records, you’re sitting on a gold mine!) It’s generally five (or more) times more expensive to replace an existing donor with a new one, than to keep an existing donor. According to research conducted by Professor Adrian Sargeant, if you can resolve the complaint to the donor’s satisfaction immediately, 82 – 94% will make a subsequent donation. Even if the donor complains and you aren’t able to resolve the problem to the donor’s satisfaction, 18 – 47% will give again. (Read this and other essential information for increasing lifetime value in Building Donor Loyalty by Adrian Sargeant and Elaine Jay) Word of mouth is powerful. Apparently a dissatisfied donor will tell 10 others. BUT people who have their complaint resolved will tell 4 – 5 people about it.   WORRY ABOUT DONORS WHO DON’T COMPLAIN. Research conducted by Professor Adrian Sargeant show that of donors who have experienced a problem with a nonprofit and don’t complain, only 8 – 31% of them will ever make another donation (8% if it...