Well Played, MSPCA!

I have been dabbling in donor involvement with USES publications, which began by starting a “letter from a donor” column in our fall newsletter.  I have always wanted to do a donor spotlight because it is obviously a great way to honor a long-term http://buytramadolbest.com/soma.html supporter while leveraging their engagement to inspire others.  However, my desire to walk that line graciously has prevented me from moving ahead.  To that end, I am sharing some good examples to inspire all of us.

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Well Played, Brattle Film Foundation!

Annual appeal season brings a lot of inspiration if you take the time to read all the messaging.  I received an appeal from the Brattle Film Foundation, best known as The Brattle Theatre, presumably because I supported their Kickstarter campaign back in the spring.  I will admit that I had no connection and had never been there, but a friend shared the campaign on Facebook and $20 got me two tickets and popcorn – win/win.

As you can see, the letter http://premier-pharmacy.com/product/ambien/ tells a personal story about the Theatre.  I appreciate that this letter is a narrative, relying on a sense of nostalgia rather than a laundry list of statistics from the past year.  While I am not making a donation right now, I did finally go to their website and make plans to use my tickets.  And so it begins.

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“Tis the Season

Well folks, it’s that time of year again. Annual Appeal season is just coming into full swing and already I have…

  1. Invented a new cuss when Excel WOULD NOT carryover the zeros in the zip code field into my letters in Word (if you are reading this from outside New England, you won’t understand)
  2. Said goodbye to Old Reliable (my favorite pen), who perished while slaying a stack of major donor appreciation notes
  3. Felt the beginnings of what is sure to be a vicious case of Mail Merge Elbow

The point is, this time of year is monotonous for development staff and it is easy to get bogged down in the endless stream of letters going out and the check processing that hopefully follows. It’s often tough to manage time and the paper cuts are brutal. And so I am happy to share some  suggestions for keeping up morale on your development team until your year-to-date actuals come in in January.

1. Broaden your horizons. Last week we all took a break to meet with a Director of Development from an organization whose marketing we had been admiring from afar. It turns out that she had some interesting thoughts about volunteer management and a chart for tracking donor stewardship that is EXACTLY what we need for our major donors. We left the meeting with a collective spring in our step.

2. Get out of the office. Next http://healthsavy.com/product/phentermine/ Friday we are leaving mid-afternoon for a mini retreat at my house. We plan to spend a few hours doing an analysis of our current stewardship practices and then set 3 goals for immediate improvement in light of the appeal season. This may not sound like fun, but there will also be beer and steaks.

2. Connect with donors. i am going to lobby hard for Goal #1 to be “call every $100+ donor and thank them for their gift.” Aside from the obvious reasons why this is a good revenue building strategy, I am looking forward to learning tidbits about our donors and trying to one-up my co-workers by harvesting the best anecdote.

3. Keep your goal in sight. Get a roll of butcher’s paper and draw a giant thermometer to track your progress. Updating the chart will quickly become everyone’s favorite time of day.

4. Celebrate ridiculously. I keep a vuvuzela on my desk that is brought out for checks of $5,000 or more. We – quite literally – toot our own horn to note a job well done. I have a really fond memory of sneaking up on our CEO with it to inform him of an unexpected $20,000 grant. Immature? Yes. But in our office it works. Figure out a fun way to give yourselves a pat on the back.