Four Fundraising Takeaways

Thursday, April 28 kicked off the start of the education series, Velocity: Fundraising and Marketing for Pittsburgh Causes. Sponsored by the Benter Foundation and The Forbes Funds, this is a five-session training designed to dramatically enhance the fundraising ability of local nonprofits. Each course is taught by Derrick Feldmann, president of Achieve.

The first session focused on donor and constituent behavior. Feldmann examined many aspects of donor behavior including: the donor experience, nonprofits’ expectations and feedback, and developing donor relations. Here are some highlights of the informative presentation:

The journey matters.

 “It will take between three and five communications for a donor to give for the first time,” said Feldmann. Think of your relationship with your donor as moving along a personalized journey with escalating interactions (see slide above).

It’s all about the story of impact.

“You have to be the best storytellers in the world,” he said. “Most of your donors are not going to be your volunteers. The vast majority of your donors will experience your work through the stories you tell them.”

Giving isn’t about your organization.

“Giving is something that’s very personal to us,” Feldmann said.  “It’s about me (the donor), not about you (the org). It’s about them being self-fulfilled in the giving process first.”

Start with the end.

“In a direct mail, 75 percent of donors read the PS statement first," he said. "It’s basically the case statement. Don’t write from the top down. You’re thinking about how you would read it, like a letter.” Instead, analyze your direct mail like a donor, and put the important pieces where they’ll look first.

Want more? Sign up to attend the remaining four sessions!