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Self-Assessment for Successful Individual Donor Fundraising

By October 6, 2009February 13th, 2015Engaging Your Board, Fundraising

I developed this list over the years as I’ve worked with hundreds of organizations to increase their individual fundraising dollars. These 9 elements for success are critical to have in place if you want to raise more money from individuals. Focusing on ALL elements will provide your organization with a framework to create an environment that allows you to retain your current donors while also bringing in new donors each year.

Answer true or false to each and tally your results:

Successful individual donor campaigns…

____ 1. Are led and supported by key volunteer and/or staff leadership.
(Board Chair, CEO, Executive Director, Pastor, Rabbi)

____ 2. Are supported and managed by at least one staff.
(Development Director, Dev. Associate)

____ 3. Have ALL board members participate in some capacity.

____ 4. Have a well defined goal, with a clear message of need, and a
specific timeline that creates a sense of urgency.

____ 5. Create an emotional connection – making it personal for people
to participate.

____ 6. Keep donors and interested parties informed and engaged with
follow-up emails, calls, meetings or letters.

____ 7. Keep the goal visible in print all year, on website & via multiple
forms of communication to encourage widespread participation.

____ 8. Communicate &  invites participants to do very specific things
with a deadline for doing them.

____ 9. Utilize a web-based donor data management system to allow
others to assist with tracking donor contacts and gifts.

9  TRUE answers = You’ve done it! You’ve mastered the communication and team member management to create a solid & effective individual fundraising program.  Keep it up and keep your communication clear and bold!

7 or 8  TRUE answers = A good individual fundraising program that needs some attention to make it solid and effective. Don’t let up now.

6 or less TRUE answers = You’ve got work to do!  Especially if you don’t have board or staff support of your individual fundraising efforts. Focusing on communication about why your organization requires philanthropic support is critical. You will want to spend time getting key board and staff leadership “on board” with supporting your development efforts.   

Let me know how your organization measures up!

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