I am enjoying my first day off in my transition from Director of Development at Boulder County AIDS Project to the new Associate Director of Development at Opera Colorado. It's a beautiful morning in Lakewood and I am feeling relaxed and very excited for my next adventure.
As I contemplate the two agencies I am in transition to/from, I keep thinking about individual donors. No matter who you fundraise for, no matter what cause you are passionate about, the individual donor is an amazing part of your agency or group's mission. Your donors are the life blood of all of the work your group can do.
I have thought about this a lot as I leave an HIV/AIDS agency (human services) and go to an opera group (the arts). It would be easy to say that the donors might be different, that there may be more or less donors, that the donors will have different need, etc., yet the reality its that donors are of equal importance to each group.
And how we treat donors are of equal importance. I know, we all have read and/or experienced the importance of a thank you. A prompt thank you at that. And many of us know the importance of making sure the donor knows how the agency spent the donor's money. Some folks stop there (if they get there). The relationship with your individual is ongoing, and I as a fundraiser have to make sure I know that and act on that.
Before this particular blog post becomes too long, I will simply end with one item that I do: weekly donor calls. Every week I make sure that I place a phone call to a list of individual donors. They can be folks who gave a year ago, six months ago, or a month ago. The call can be to thank, to say hi, or to give a recent update on the group's mission. The purpose is not as important as the call itself. Just say hi. Let them know how things are going and how their support is affecting your group that day.
More to come. Thanks for reading!
PS... On Twitter I am now @FundraiserDan !