Getting to know your Donors

May 8, 2021

Why record details?

Did you know that it costs more, and you have to work a lot harder, to get a first donation from someone than it is to get the second or third or… donation?

That is why there is so much emphasis put on what fundraisers call ‘Donor Retention’.

So the first important step with Donor Retention is knowing who your donors are. And that means you have to record details of who they are, what they gave and when they gave it.

There’s an old saying that ‘the shortest pencil is better than the longest memory’. Plus you knowing doesn’t mean the others in your team also know.

Being disciplined to faithfully record and update details in a database is a pain in the neck. Yep, it’s a right pain. But it is vital if you want to grow your ministry. And quite frankly everyone who donates to your ministry deserves the very best.

Imagine if you are one of the long -serving elders and your church and you turn up one Sunday and the greeter asks if this is your first time.  You’d probably be a bit amused. But if it happened 3 Sundays in a row you’d start to get a bit annoyed with the greeting team.

When I was leading the fundraising and Partnership Services teams at Vision I had a little saying that I used to help our people focus on our supporters.

“We know who you are and we know the nature of the relationship you have with us.’

That meant when we wrote to all our supporters we would sort them into different groups. To our monthly supporters we would say “Thank you for your ongoing, monthly support” or to people who had supported us for two or more years we would say “thank you for your long and faithful support”.

If you aren’t already then Today is a really good day to start your supporter database. There are literally hundreds of options when it comes to software – some even start at FREE.  I’d be very happy to try and help you  – but for now attached is a simple Excel Spreadsheet so you can start right now.  You can always import this data into a fancy system at a later date.

Like a bit more? Watch this 5 minute video

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