It is so easy to get caught up in fund raising and miss some of the best practices. Here are 3 key practices.
1. Do not take the giving decision away from your prospects and donors. In my early days of fund raising, I made decisions for prospects and donors. In some cases I never gave them a chance to know of my vision because I failed to add them to my prospect list of people I wanted to approach. In other cases, they made the list but I decided that they could not afford to give that much so I simply asked low. And in doing so, I took the decision away from them for how they wanted to give. At first, I was very disappointed because those who I thought would come alongside chose not to, while those who I had put out of my mind as potential donors came through.
2. Persistence makes a difference. I tended to give up on people too easily. I learned that just because a donor’s initial response produced a small gift didn’t mean there wasn’t hope that future gifts could produce larger gifts. After numerous follow-up phone calls to a potential donor, one day my secretary came in and announced that this couple was there to see me. I was shocked! The husband had told his wife that he was either going to come down and see my ministry for himself, or tell me to stop calling him. He toured our facility, looked into the eyes of our missionary staff, and was sold. He made a significant gift! Time and time again I have seen that persistence pays off.
3. Challenge people, ask high, and expand their vision. I often asked far too low. And if you do not ASK at all, the answer will always be NO. As I work with major donors, I have discovered that their first gift is often very small. They want to see if you appreciate the gift and if their gift made a difference. Just because they give at a lower level does not mean they cannot be challenged to give more later!