Lisa Greer

OBSESSED WITH SAVING GIVING

Recent Tips

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5/20/2024

Use storytelling with words, images, or videos to deeply engage your donors. This emotional connection not only boosts support for your cause but also makes donors feel like an integral part of the solution!

5/13/2024

Make sure your marketing materials (digital included) demonstrate that you not only recognize DAFs and are happy to work with them, but also that you’re aware of the rules governing their use.

5/6/2024

Lots of new donors are beginning to give, and they don't know that the organization develops expectations based on that first gift. If we expect a gift the following year, shouldn't that first gift be promoted as a "subscription"?

4/29/2024

Make it a practice to ALWAYS check all the links in anything you send out. Ensure that they direct to the exact page relevant to your information. If you're not 100% accurate, you risk receiving unsubscribe messages.

4/22/2024

If you're a supporter of a nonprofit and they don't offer recurring giving, ask them why not. Not offering donors a recurring/monthly giving option is doing a disservice to the organization.

4/15/2024

When you buy a list and use the names to send a “personalized” (yet unsolicited) email, it’s best to check your system to make sure that the names on the email itself match the person’s email that it’s going to. Today I was “Jasper”!

4/8/2024

Intense pressure tactics are not productive in the long term, and they do not align with the true essence of giving, which should be rooted in authentic relationships. For instance, a colleague shared a concerning incident where their elderly family member was hospitalized due to persistent and forceful pushing.

4/1/2024

When pitching or meeting a new prospect, embrace the opportunity to express your passion for your work! Don't hesitate to share what drives you.

3/25/2024

When pitching or meeting a new prospect, embrace the opportunity to express your passion for your work! Don't hesitate to share what drives you.

3/18/2024

No parent wants to feel like they're an ATM for their kids. Donors feel the same way—who wants to feel like they're merely a nonprofit's ATM? Short-term thinking doesn't serve us well.

3/9/2024

Did you know that many first-time donors are unaware that organizations often expect subsequent donations, typically for larger amounts, in the following calendar year? How would a donor new to giving know about this expectation?

3/4/2024

The concept of 'owning' a donor is outdated, offensive, and unproductive. Let's discard that notion altogether.

2/19/2024

If you're still spending tons of money designing, printing, and sending your annual reports, please stop. Do it digitally and print it out for those few donors who want it on paper. Most donors today want their money to go to programs or to sustain the organization, and they'll resent your spending their donations on printed annual reports that often end up as doorstops.

2/12/2024

Are some of your board members not contributing enough? Try this approach: Provide each board member with a list showing the amount contributed by each member, arranged from highest to lowest. Avoid identifying individual board members on the list, but make sure to identify the recipient of the list. This allows them to see how their contributions compare to others on the board. This method often prompts board members to increase their contributions or consider resigning.

2/5/2024

Yes, fundraisers are often intimidated by donors. But did you know that many donors are intimidated by fundraisers? Donors may not be familiar with concepts such as the 'donor pyramid' or the strategies employed by fundraisers. When encountering something unfamiliar, they're unlikely to inquire further and may simply withdraw their support. Like most people, donors dislike feeling uninformed.

1/29/2024

When sending an email thanking attendees for their presence at the gala and highlighting key moments from the event, please ensure it is only sent to those who actually attended. For those who sponsored but did not attend, consider crafting a slightly different message that is relevant to their support.

1/22/2024

When presenting a matching gift opportunity to your donors, ensure clarity in your instructions on what actions you're requesting from them.

1/15/2024

Is there a specific reason why I can't serve as both a volunteer and a donor? Is volunteering frowned upon, especially for major donors? Doesn't this seem illogical?

1/8/2024

Could people avoid giving 'in memory of' gifts due to concerns about being added to mailing lists without consent? If I want to honor someone who passed, I shouldn't have to worry about being added to a solicitation list without being asked, right?

12/18/2023

It's a great practice to send a thank-you email to all guests promptly after a fundraising event. However, if your personalized form letter says 'thanks for attending,' ensure the person actually attended.

12/11/2023

If you are acquiring names for email outreach with the hope that recipients will become donors, ensure that your email clearly communicates your NPO's purpose. A way to prompt a recipient to delete your email is to assume that they know who you are.

12/4/2023

Don't assume that donors want to be contacted for contributions in December. If you have an authentic relationship with a donor, you'll know their preferred time of year to make contributions.

11/27/2023

Does using "Today is Your Last Chance" in an email bring in funds? It sounds morbid. (And, of course, it's not true…) Maybe say, "Our budget is finalized today. Your gift allows us to help more people this year."

11/20/2023

Giving the same amount of money every year (to a specific NGO) isn't such a bad thing, is it?

11/13/2023

Don't assume that a donor wants a big book or expensive gift from you. Ask them how they like to be thanked and honor that. Otherwise, you're wasting precious money that's needed elsewhere.

11/6/2023

Having a Donor Advised Fund or Foundation doesn't mean that a donor is "parking" their money. It might, but it also might not. Don't assume.

10/30/2023

Printing 'RENEWAL NOTICE' in red on your direct mail letters and sending them to people who have never donated to you can deter potential donors. They are also likely to remember your organization's name, but not in a positive way.

10/23/2023

One nonprofit created a name for their recurring donors -- a "club", if you will, called the GEMS. Giving Every Month. How cool is that?

10/16/2023

Whether you're doing a mass mailing or sending emails to a few donors, please use spellcheck! One typo is fine, but once there are multiple misspellings, most donors will move on to another charity.

10/9/2023

When designing an email or a mailer, think about where YOUR eye goes on the page. If all you see is DONATE over and over again, your recipient will likely not even read the real substance of the communication.

10/2/2023

If you're having a "quiet period" before a capital campaign and one of your donors (not on that list) hears about it and wants to donate, please take their money.

9/25/2023

If you talk about "bringing back a check" when you or your colleagues go to a pitch, think about that word "check". Does you website even allow for donations by check?

9/18/2023

Why don’t restricted gifts incur an automatic 20% to cover overhead – similar to what universities do?

9/11/2023

"Legacy Giving" or "Planned Giving"? Know that many donors will think planned giving means they are "planning" to make a gift. This won't help your legacy giving program.

8/23/2023

Look at your overall list of donors and prospects and calculate their median age. If it's 80 or over and you don't have a legacy giving program, you're missing the boat big-time.

8/7/2023

Ignore younger donors at your peril. You need them, and you need them now.

7/31/2023

When you pitch someone for money, make sure you know if they’re a recurring donor. If they are, thank them for that before you make your new pitch. Otherwise the donor will think that you’re treating their recurring gift as meaningless (not a good look).

7/24/2023

It's great to present your nonprofit board with big numbers from your events. Expect board members to ask you if the $ numbers you're quoting are gross or net. Know the answer, and ideally have comparisons to past events ready to go.

7/12/2023

A young fundraiser's age doesn't necessarily translate to "junior" or "unable to work with major donors". The opposite isn't always true, either.

7/5/2023

Promote recurring giving in everything you do. Unlike other donors, monthly donors become more attached to your NPO, and are MORE likely to give, with each passing year. The opposite of most other donor groups.

6/26/2023

When a more junior fundraiser scores a big gift (because they built a relationship!), why do we remove that fundraiser from the equation? Add a senior person, maybe, but move the junior person out? No.

6/19/2023

Message to NPOs who spend 95% of their time on major donors--most major donors start giving as smaller donors. Shouldn't we be nurturing that?

6/13/2023

If you're honestly willing to make change at your organization, then listen to ALL your constituents, including your staff. Especially your fundraisers.

6/6/2023

If you pitch someone new and they give you connections or feedback instead of money, understand/appreciate that they’re giving you a different sort of gift. Don’t act crestfallen that you didn’t get the immediate gift you wanted.

5/23/2023

Answer to the question "How can I best get info on my donor?" is, simply, to just ask them!

5/16/2023

For those of you ready and wanting to go back to your pre-Covid programs, note that, as they say, "that ship has sailed". Acclimate to all the possibility in this post-Covid world!

5/3/2023

When and why would you use a check to make a donation? It’s true that transaction fees on credit cards are much higher than using a check, and there are clear benefits and risks of using either. Do you use a checkbook regularly? Or at all? #lisastipoftheweek #fundraising

2/13/2023

Since most (many) unrestricted bequests are “surprise money” anyway, why not give a fixed percentage of that money to cover operations/overhead until ops are fully funded?

1/23/2023

If we believe that authentic relationships are the key to successful fundraising, why do we perpetuate the “rule” that your contact at an NPO changes when you give more money? It makes sense if there’s no relationship with the lower-level fundraiser, but it just seems wrong to keep them out of the picture if a strong relationship exists, no?

1/16/2023

Why are so many fundraisers instructed to not talk about themselves when meeting with a donors? It’s hard to form a relationship when the other person doesn’t fully participate, no?

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