Growing your Existing Donor Base

Everyone is always looking for ways to grow their donor base so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions and tips that I’ve used myself. Feel free to add some of your own ideas. The first step would be to figure out what you mean when you say “donor base.” Are we talking about monthly donors or annual donors? If you want to grow your base you have to know what you are growing them to be.

  • Send an appeal to lapsed donors from a year ago and invite them to get involved again. You can highlight a new project or just tell them you missed them.
  • Ask your faithful donors if they could introduce you to some of their friends. I often let the volunteers, community advocates, and close donors know that if they ever want to introduce a friend of theirs to the organization that I am always available to give a tour or meet with them.
  • Look at other similar organization’s annual reports or donor recognition publications.
  • With local businesses I will often make sure I am watching the local news & skimming the paper for organizations that might be interested. I will often follow that up with a cold call or a letter.
  • Get your “unsolicited gifts” and fringe givers to be involved more closely in the organization through a tour or event.
  • An annual fundraising event can be a great way to bring in new donors.
  • Chambers, Rotaries, networking groups, and other associations can be a great way to meet new business donors and individual major donors.

What does your organization do? Anything you’d like to add to the list? Leave a comment.


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