Cultivating Donors

donor relations Feb 23, 2021

If you find that your organization has difficulty attracting a particular category of donors--individual major donors, foundations, organizations, or businesses--you might want to plan some special cultivation events and activities to help build relationships with these donors.

You will need to determine which are the best activities or events to attract donors, while at the same time not over-taxing your budget. For example, if you are seeking to build relationships with the business community, a business leader’s breakfast might be a good event for you to consider. If, on the other hand, you want to build more awareness among major individual donors, you might plan a series of intimate cocktail parties in board members' or other volunteers’ homes. Or you might want to meet with these donors one-on-one or invite them for a tour of your organization. Use a table to create a donor cultivation plan: Under the first column, list the types of donors you need to cultivate—foundations, businesses, organizations, and individual donors. Then add columns for the types of events and activities you will use to cultivate this segment, who will be responsible for development a cultivation plan for that event or activity, how much it will cost and timeline for each event or activity.

You might need to develop some materials, events, and/or activities to improve donor awareness and donor relations. Develop a grid to help you plan accordingly. Some programs and materials you might add to your list include developing an annual report and/or a newsletter, conducting “thank-a-thons,” sending personal notes, developing a social media program, developing and distributing media kits and media releases, improving your 990 form and your website, visiting major donors personally, holding cultivation evets for various segments. Be sure to assign costs, persons responsible, and timelines for each of these undertakings.

To learn more about identifying donors, take my course, Build Donor Relations that Lead to Major Gifts. Sign up here


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