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Tuesday, December 12 2017

A Good Idea from Election Day

Today is Election Day in Alabama. Doug Jones is running against Roy Moore for the U. S. Senate and everyone everywhere seems to know about it. Right now there are record numbers of news reporters and TV cameras in Alabama. If you want to know what all the controversy is about, just Google it. You will find over 394 million options in your search.

Now the reason I am bringing up the election is because Doug Jones was once my daughter's Alumni Host at Birmingham-Southern College. In 2002, she was college shopping and I think we visited every liberal arts college on this side of the Mississippi River. There were lots. Birmingham-Southern was different. Doug took her to lunch and told her all about the college and the great education she would receive at BSC. Afterwards, every other college we visited was compared to BSC. Guess where she went to college? I've always thought this was a great way to cultivate a prospective student.

What if we did the same with new donors? Imagine pairing a loyal donor who believes in your organization, your cause, and knows your impact with a new donor to educate, cultivate, and inspire. Everywhere you turn there are articles, webinars and conferences on the critical role of on-boarding new donors. But, too often there is the standard "thank you letter" followed by silence. Then we wonder why the second gift never comes.

"Thank You" from another donor could go a long way - literally. Donor cultivation is a step by step, patient process.

  1. Invite your Champions - those folks who believe in what you are doing and love to tell others about your organization. Start small and grow with success.
  2. Educate and equip. Schedule a training class. Give them a good elevator speech, a sample email inviting the new donor to learn more, opportunities for the champion to cultivate a new donor like a tour, an upcoming event, or a board meeting (you would be surprised how many new donors will attend a board meeting).
  3. Pair for success. If your Champion is successful the first time, they will keep coming back, introducing more and more new donors to your organization.
  4. Celebrate. Host a lunch for your Champions and their donors. Feature Champions and new donors in social media posts. Recognize your donor pairs at events.
  5. Graduate and start again!

Swell is here to build your new donor base. Your Champions can be the key to keeping those donors. Today's new donor can be tomorrow's Champion. Raise More Money! Do More Good!

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