How to get that critical second gift

In many ways, the second gift you get from a donor is more important than the first. The second gift signals that you may have a relationship. If a first-time donor doesn’t give a second gift within 12 months, your chance of ever getting another gift gets shockingly small.

If you’re serious about making your new donor acquisition investment pay off, you should put some serious effort into getting second gifts.

Here are some ways, from the Fundraising Trend Spotter blog, at Four simple steps to get a second gift from a new direct mail donor:


  1. Thank new donors in a warm and personalised way for their first gift.
  2. Send them a welcome pack.
  3. Show new donors how you are using their gift to change the world.
  4. Ask for a second gift within three months of receiving the first gift.

Please note that #4 says “ask for a second gift within three months,” not after three months. In fact, three months is perilously close to too late.

I can vouch for these four tactics. I’ve seen them improve donor retention again and again.


Comments

4 responses to “How to get that critical second gift”

  1. Asking a first-time donor for an additional gift within 3 months of their first gift seems awfully aggressive absent any special circumstances or appeals. How do you avoid the appearance that you’re treating the new donor like a cash cow?

  2. Asking a first-time donor for an additional gift within 3 months of their first gift seems awfully aggressive absent any special circumstances or appeals. How do you avoid the appearance that you’re treating the new donor like a cash cow?

  3. Great post. If an organization does one through three well then number four (another ask within three months) will not bother donors. Perhaps they don’t give but the ask and good treatment will reinforce the nature of the relationship and start a habit of giving (money to the organization) and receiving (the reward of a gift put to good use).

  4. Great post. If an organization does one through three well then number four (another ask within three months) will not bother donors. Perhaps they don’t give but the ask and good treatment will reinforce the nature of the relationship and start a habit of giving (money to the organization) and receiving (the reward of a gift put to good use).

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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