HOW DO WE RETAIN AND UPGRADE OUR DONORS?
Institute on Religion and
Your best donor prospect is someone who has already given to you—which is why building relationships with your donors is so crucial. Successful nonprofits retain and upgrade their donors by finding out what their donor's goals are, and asking how they can partner together to achieve them. They incorporate them into the life of the organization through personal meetings, events, and special activities. They communicate with their donors frequently—and not only when they wish to solicit them. And they engage their enthusiastic support through meaningful giving clubs, among other means.
INSTITUTE ON RELIGION AND PUBLIC LIFE:
Thanks to a charismatic founder—Father Richard John Neuhaus—and a wildly successful flagship publication (First Things magazine), the Institute on Religion and Public Life (IRPL) built a solid base of small and major individual and foundation donors since its founding in 1990. However, the organization had not put in place a system for retaining and upgrading its donors by the time Fr. Neuhaus died in 2009. The board soon realized that such a system was necessary, and engaged American Philanthropic to help.
Working closely with the IRPL board and executive director, American Philanthropic advised IRPL on how to put in place tactics for cultivating current major donors. We helped to write grant proposals, letters of inquiry, and meeting requests, and created a system for tracking the organization's major donors. American Philanthropic also researched IRPL's major donors, providing the board and executive director with information that they could use in determining which donors to prioritize and how to approach them.
Finally, American Philanthropic advised IRPL on how to use events—both existing events and new ones—to cultivate donor relationships, and we walked the organization through the process of setting up a major—donor giving club.
- Development-program audit.
- Messaging development.
- Donor club strategies and management.
- Grant writing and proposal creation.
- Customized donor prospect research.
- High-dollar solicitation packages.
- Annual reports, prospectuses, brochures, and other collateral material.