Part #2—Cultivating and Reporting Back–Social Networking and Major Gifts a 3-part Series

How are those Google Alerts and Tweetbeeps working for you?  I hope you’ve been able to see how they can help you get to know your donors.

Now, I want to turn to how to use Social Networking tools to further cultivate and report back to donors.  You may have read one of my earlier posts about the importance of reporting back to donors in order to show them how their gifts made a difference.  It’s absolutely crucial.

Unfortunately, it’s one of the many barriers development directors and major gift officers run into within their own organization.  This just has to get solved.  If you are going to survive as an organization you have to be able to quickly report back the impact of a donor’s gift.

What’s great though is that we have all these cool social networking tools to be creative and to  (and, yes, cheaply) tell our donors how they have made a difference.

Tools such as: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, WordPress, Ipadio , QR codes and PURL’s (personal URL’s)  all have the ability to enhance your donor’s experience with your organization.

Imagine this happening:  You have five of your caseload donors helping to build a school in Haiti.  Traditionally, you’d get a report from the field, re-write it with a few pictures at the home office and mail it or e-mail it to your donor. That’s fine, nothing wrong with that, but today we can do so much more.

Now, you can have someone in the field video or use Ipadio updates as the school is being built.  You send the update via a direct Tweet, Facebook update or e-mail that directs the donor to their PURL where they can see or hear first hand what is happening with the project they are funding.

I mean, think about how powerful that is for the donor.  Here they are sitting at Starbucks in Denver enjoying their morning coffee and they get a direct tweet, which links them to a two-minute video of the walls of the school going up and grateful kids cheering…all of this happening minutes ago!

Is that incredible or what?

What a great time to be a fundraiser, huh?  There are so many tools out there for you to be creative, cost-effective and deliver an emotional message to your donors, which will help them feel great about their investment.

Now, the key is to get the folks in your organization on board.  Start researching these tools and show folks the power these tools have to reach your donors in new and exciting ways.

Remember, you will NOT survive if you cannot effectively tell donors how their investments made an impact and difference.

It’s an exciting time to wow your donors.  Start now.

Jeff

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About Jeff Schreifels and Richard Perry

Jeff Schreifels and Richard Perry have over 55 years of experience fundraising for non-profits. Richard Perry was co-owner of Domain Group until 2005. Jeff Schreifels was a Senior Strategist for Domain Group for 12 years. They came together a few years ago to start Veritus Group, a full-service major gift fundraising agency. Veritus Group has a unique, data-driven approach unlike any agency focused on major gifts. Jeff and Richard are passionate about their work, passionate about life and hopes this blog will provide you with insights and tangible benefits for you and your work. Thank you for reading!
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3 Responses to Part #2—Cultivating and Reporting Back–Social Networking and Major Gifts a 3-part Series

  1. Leigh Ann Cardenas says:

    What are you thoughts about reporting back to donors who give to the unrestricted, general fund? Or someone whose prior gifts have supported something that wasn’t a capital project? Even though we underscore the need for unrestricted giving to support the full mission of our organization, you can’t really send a video about that. Thanks.

    • Leigh Ann, if you do not know the donors intent of your gift and have marked it as a generic general fund gift, then I would send reports back to that donor about the organizations overall accomplishments during the course of the year. This could be a quarterly e-update you send to your donors highlighting one of your programs and the impact it has made.

      • Leigh Ann Cardenas says:

        Thanks! One of our MGOs does this via snail mail about twice a year to the donors in his region. It’s a bit of a labor intensive process, and I’d love to do more on the digital side, but we’re struggling there. Our donor base skews to 60+, and while we are getting new donors with email addresses every day, the consistent base has not responded to our attempts to “go digital.” P.S. Your blog is spot on every time. Not a posting has been made that didn’t ring true. Keep it up!

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