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22 Ideas to Make 2011 Your Best Fundraising Year Yet!

Resource Center - Foundation

By Gail Perry, CFRE

(Jan. 12, 2011) Are you ready for 2011? What will it take for you to make it the perfect year?

Here are some ideas to help you simplify your fundraising approach, focus on what's most important, and most of all, have more fun!

1. Call your donors.

It will help them build life-long relationships with your cause.

2. Treat your donors like they've made a heart-felt gift.

They have. And please don't forget it.

3. When in doubt, throw a party!

Make everything more fun and you'll attract people to your cause.

4. Hold meetings standing up.

Then people won't talk so much. And you'll have more time.

5. Don't take things so seriously.

Lighten up and you'll see better results.

6. Decide what you enjoy most about fundraising and spend time there.

You'll be more successful.

7. Ask your donors why they believe in your cause.

You'll enjoy the conversation - they will too.

8. When in doubt, shut up.

Listening is a gift you give to other people. You can listen your way to the gift.

9. Wear your heart on your sleeve.

It makes you more of a real person - and a much, much better fundraiser.

10. Don't worry about social media.

But do worry about your web site.

11. Find a web designer you trust.

Put them on a monthly retainer.

12. Start budgeting for web development annually.

If you don't, you'll be sorry.

13. Join AFP and go to the meetings.

Meet your peers and they'll help you out.

14. Invest in yourself and your career.

In a rapidly changing business, you need to keep your skills fresh.

15. Take your lunch breaks and get your exercise.

Studies show you are more efficient and effective when you take breaks.

16. Visit your donors to just say thank you.

They'll give again when you ask.

17.  Make more visits to ask.

That's the #1 key to making your fundraising goal.

18. Identify and focus on your top 10 prospects.

Connect with them once a month. And you'll be amazed at your results.

19. Let go of your ego whenever you can.

You'll have better relationships and be happier. And it will show in your fundraising.

20. Write gushy, warm thank you notes in the first person.

Finally, make it personal!

21. Start a planned giving program.

Make it simple. Just remind your most loyal donors once a year to consider you in their estate plans.

22. Set a goal for the number of out-of-office visits you'll make each week and each month.

That's the key to getting out of the darn office!

I hope these ideas will spark you to a new look and new energy for your fundraising this year.

Gail Perry, CFRE, is president of Gail Perry Associates in Raleigh, N.C. She is the author of Fired Up Fundraising: Turn Board Passion into Action, available in the AFP Bookstore.

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