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Understand Your Target Donors to Grow Fundraising

SG Understand Target DonorsDid you know that charitable donations to education continued to be strong in 2021. That's great news for your donor development plans!

Knowing who gives the most and how they like to give is important intelligence. Check out this webinar with guidance from some experts on how to understand your target donors to grow fundraising.

We recently hosted a conversation with two fundraising experts from Columns Fundraising in which we discussed how to improve our donor engagement strategies. Check out the video below. 


Notes from the webinar are provided below.

The best way to add new donors is by understanding your current donor base. It's important to know them personally and to consistently engage them in dialogue-- not just when you’re asking for donations. 

In exchange for their generosity, donors want--and deserve--the following:

  1. Prompt acknowledgement: Follow-up as soon as possible with a personal note.
  2. Transparency: Make sure you spend the money the way you said you would, and share updates with your donors along the way.
  3. Real Impact: Donors want to know their gifts will make a lasting and meaningful difference.

How does this help you now?

"A year-end is a terrible thing to waste!" While we understand December 31 is imminent, a lot can happen over the next few days to positively impact your school. Make the most of the next two weeks and organize a team who can help with the following:

  • Identify donors who gave last year but not this year (LYBUNTs)
  • Recruit key Board members and staff to help you contact these donors. Assign no more than 3 donors to each volunteer
  • Provide volunteers with a script thanking donors for their last gift and to re-enforce how much it meant to the school
  • Follow-up with your volunteers each week to check on their progress
  • Most importantly, make sure every person, at every contribution level, receives a thank you before the end of the year.

Donor engagement doesn’t end with the fulfillment of a fundraising goal. It’s an ongoing continuum of engagement requiring consistent communication, relationship building, and progressive organizational health.

Raising money requires the following discipline:

  • Data Collection
  • Listening to donors and building relationships
  • Follow-up and Follow through


Don’t spend too much time seeking corporate sponsors. Individuals gifted 69% of the charitable donations nationwide last year. Your school database is a goldmine of valuable information on potential donors — parents and grandparents. You have to keep building your data.

And don’t forget…

The #1 reason people give — someone asked them.

The #1 reason people do not give — they were never asked.


Join us on January 11, 2022, for the next webinar in our Donor Growth series:

Measuring the Success of Your Donor Engagement Strategy 

Listen to the School Growth podcast

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