Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What frustrated donors want

Small business owners are tired of being hit up continually for donations. The topic came up in a conversation I had today with Illinois State Senator Gary Dahl. "There's a golf tournament almost every day during the summer," he said.

What's the alternative?

Annual campaigns.
Four years ago I helped a nonprofit stop doing special events (yes, they did a golf tournaments, dinners, and a dozen other events) and launched an annual campaign. Dahl served as the first chairperson of the campaign.

The organization kept their popular Christmas appeal and then organized volunteers from the business and professional community to meet in person and ask the person for a pledge for the year.

In four years, the nonprofit doubled it's income from the face to face solicitation phase. And the business and professional people were delighted because they knew that at least one major nonprofit in the community was going to ask them only once a year.

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