5 Ways to Jumpstart Your 2017 Fundraising



  1. Send a consolidated receipt for each person’s total in 2016: Send it to anyone who has made 2 or more gifts or given $250 or more. Along with the receipt thank them and let them know that their gifts are saving lives. Tuck in a short list of major accomplishments in 2016 and on the other side a short list of major objectives for 2017. Put in a return giving envelope.
  2. Identify your Major Donors: Don’t forget that in most organizations, the top 15% of your donors account for 75% or more of your total donations. These are the people that you want to know, individually cultivate during the year, and solicit ideally in a face-to-face meeting.  How do you decide who is a Major Donor? An easy starting point is to include anyone who gave you $1000+ in 2016 and/or 2015 and/or 2014 or in those 3-years gave you $3000 or more.
  3. Develop a fundraising plan: Donations come from a limited number of groups—Major Donors, General Donors (individuals and couples who are NOT Majors), foundations, churches, businesses, service clubs, government. Each giving group needs a set of strategies and managers so that they are properly cultivated (educated and inspired) and then solicited for a donation.  The goals you have for each group totals to your annual fundraising goal.  Don’t make the mistake of doing fundraising sporadically or in a haphazard manner.  You will miss opportunities.  Remember, if people are not asked for a gift, it is unlikely that they will give.
  4. Start talking to donors in February: Early in the calendar year is the time to make contact and let your donors know what new initiatives you have planned for 2017. People lose interest if they perceive the organization is just maintaining.  They want to hear about new ideas, improvements, additional services.  GROWTH is what motivates giving.  Get on the phone, email, text, newsletter—and start getting your donors excited.
  5. Increase organizational fundraising expertise: Fundraising is a team sport. Lot’s of people (leadership, program staff, volunteers) have contact with donors and prospects and can help move people to where they want to give.  All of these participants need to be trained in how they can best assist your development staff.  It’s about messaging correctly, sharing donor interactions, and helping determine who is the most trusted person within your organization to help you cultivate and solicit each donor. People will help if they understand what you are trying to do.

The clock is ticking and 1/12 of the year is gone.  Your goals are:

  • Solicit (ASK) everyone who gave last year to give again
  • Reactivate those that gave in past years but not in 2016
  • Add new donors in 2017

Michael Friedline
Sparrow Solutions Group, Consultant

Michael Friedline will be conducting a webinar to discuss this topic in more depth through Sparrow Solutions Group. More information is coming soon about this helpful webinar, as well as many more to come.


For a free copy of a Development Annual Plan Framework email ginnie@sparrowsg.com.
If you have a question or comment for Michael email to ginnie@sparrowsg.com.

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