My colleague and mentor Katya Andresen often smartly advises non profit fundraisers to “Be their donors for a day.” This means making a donation and seeing for yourself what systems/communications are in place (or not in place) to make that donor experience incredible.
I want to encourage everyone reading this post to take her advice one step further. Be a high-value donor for a month. Make both a monthly donation and a gift over $500 (use a test amount if that’ll break the bank) and see how your organization treats you.
My guess – it’ll be pretty similar to how your organization treats a $20 donor, which for most organizations isn’t very well at all.
Now, I definitely support egalitarian principles. But in the case of where we put our limited cultivation time/capacity/resources, I’d prioritize making the high-value donor experience super incredible. A phone call? A handwritten letter? A kiss on the cheek (ok that might go too far). But you get my point.
Retaining those high rollers (who make up 1% of your donors, but 30% of revenue) is key to your growth strategy.