Avraham Lewis works with non-profit founders and executive directors, so they raise more funds, in less time. With over a decade of professional fundraising experience, he is currently boosting the bottom line of kiruv orgs, community kollels and mosdos Torah from Seattle to Melbourne.

If you would like to quickly understand how a personalized fundraising solution can increase the amount of funds you are raising, be in contact for a free strategy session or see more at avrahamlewis.com 

The year flew by and it’s time to go back to your major donors to ask them to renew or increase their donation to your project. Aside from a pre-Pesach call, Rosh Hashanah gift and your twice-a-year email update, you have a feeling that there is something more that you should have been doing.

Perhaps, some more relevant and personalized interactions, but you’re not quite sure when you could have dedicated the time to this. It’s understandable that you’ll find yourself in these situations, particularly in smaller organizations where you’re juggling so many things.

It’s challenging to find the time just to think about — let alone carry out — those personalized interactions, or ‘touch points’, that are needed to secure a major gift.

But here’s the thing. If you really want to raise major donations, you have no choice but to create personalized touch points throughout the year with your top donors.

Money and Love

Touch points can be simple. And quick to roll out. Here are a few tips to make them as easy as possible:

1) Firstly, set time in your tasks/calendar at least every quarter, if not monthly, to implement touch points for your 10-25 major donors.

2) You only need to decide what the specific touch point will be when it comes up in your calendar, but at least you’ve got it down in writing that you will do something.

3)  When the time comes for a touch point, take advantage of whatever else is already happening in your life and your organization.
Here are a few examples:

  • If you’re sending out an email program update, pull your top donors and prospects from the general list and send the message from your own email address with a personal note.
  • When you come across a great article, book or something meaningful, think about which of your major donors would appreciate it and email/send it them with a personal message.
  • Before the chaggim, call as many as you can of your major donors. Leave a warm message if they don’t answer, and if they do, try asking them to share a Dvar Torah.
  • If you’re on vacation, send a few postcards to your donors, reminding them that even though you are away, you’re thinking of them!
  • If you have a specific program-related bit of news or success, send it to your top donors with a nice note, even a two-liner, in an email, text, short note or call them saying, “Here’s what we’re able to do because of you!”
  • If you see a newspaper or news magazine article describing a problem that you are dealing with, share it with the donors asking their opinion.
  • Keep track of birthdays and anniversaries, have a stack of cards, or if this is too much for you, then at least email them sharing a meaningful brocha.
  • When you’re running a bigger than normal program or event, decide which of your top donors would appreciate coming and invite them. The invite alone is an effective action.
  • When you have a personal simcha, chanukas habayis, siyum, upsherin, bris, choose a few donors you can invite personally, or include them in your email, sharing your good news.
You get the idea. You don’t have to create content. Use the content that’s already there and just personalize it.

These touch points are there to enhance the ongoing relationship you need to have with your top supporters.

The benefit of personalizing what you are already doing is that you can use this approach with as many of your donors as you need to, in a much shorter amount of time and stay sane!

I’d love to hear some of your examples of what worked for you. B’Hatzlacha Raba!

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