Wednesday, November 30, 2016

15 Important Fundraising Questions

Are you meeting your fundraising goals? In order to be successful in raising the money to support your nonprofit work, you need to focus on three things: building your database, developing and maintaining positive relationships with donors - and actually asking people for contributions. Here are some questions you should be thinking about:

1. Is everyone on your staff collecting contact information (email, mailing address, all phone numbers, particular interests) to expand your database on an ongoing basis?
2. Do you have a mailing list form for people to sign up to receive your email and mail available at your front desk and at every event you do?
3. Do you maintain and update information on all your donors in your database, including a detailed giving history?
4. Are brochures and remit envelopes available at your front desk, in your offices, and at all events?
5. Does your website feature an attractive, prominent donate button on every page?
6. Have you actually checked, step-by-step, to see whether your donation page is user-friendly, on home computers and on mobile phones?
7. When people call or stop by your office, is your staff immediately welcoming and helpful (or do they keep their eyes glued to their computer screens) - and do you have a clear policy that one-on-one personal contacts always take precedence over computer work?
8. Do you send out a weekly enewsletter with information about your services, programs, events, clients, and donors?
9. Is there a link to your donation page on your enewsletters?
10. Can a potential donor easily find information on your website (including contact person) about making a gift of stock, and do you have a brokerage account (preferably Schwab) to facilitate this?
11. Do you make a specific effort to be in touch with donors throughout the year (personally, via mail, and email), not just during your fundraising campaigns?
12. Are you making a pitch for donations at every event you sponsor?
13. Are your board and staff (including the Executive Director) trained to make personal asks - and are they actually getting on the phone, arranging meetings, and soliciting donations?
14. Are you asking for donations more than once a year?
15. Are thank you letters sent out promptly - to everyone - and do you also follow up with personal thank you calls to significant donors?

If you've answered no to any of these questions, it's time to go back to the drawing board. I know fundraising isn't easy - it's hard and it's never ending. But the bottom line is that you need to do that hard work and make those asks and get those donations in order to create the community of supporters your organization needs to sustain your programs.

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