How to get more from the donors you have

A common fundraising strategy is to keep getting more and more new donors, without building stronger relationship with the donors you already have.

That is a quick path to failure.

You should be building your relationships with the donors you have — maximizing what they have to offer. When you do that, your acquisition efforts will lead to growth. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself in a constant state of very expensive churn.

Michael Rosen’s blog offers some good ways to get the balance right, at 6 Ways to Raise More Money without New Donors:


  1. Ask for More.
  2. Second Gift Appeal.
  3. Recruit Monthly Donors.
  4. Get a Challenge Grant.
  5. Retain Donors.
  6. Ask for Planned Gifts.

All these things fall under two of the three prongs of effective fundraising:


  • Keep: retain the donors you already have
  • Lift: encourage your donors to give more, either by giving more often or giving higher amounts

(The first prong is Win: acquire new donors.)

That’s how you succeed at fundraising.


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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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About the blogger

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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