Imagine if an article about your nonprofit started getting forwarded on Facebook. By a lot of people. Suddenly, you receive 1,000 new donations from 1,000 new donors. Seems like it would be a good problem, wouldn’t it? But, it would still be a problem. In all likelihood, you could not accept, acknowledge, and begin stewardship on 1,000 new donors with your current structure. In fact, many organizations can’t handle 50 new donors at a time. Or 10 if they come at a busy time of year.
That is because most nonprofits don’t have a solid organizational structure for stewardship and development.
Whether you have a one-person development shop or fifty people working the task, there have to be formal processes in place to make sure you keep your donors happy. And retain those donors next year, and for many years into the future.
What should you consider when assessing your current structure? Do you have:
- Goals for your fundraising efforts?
- Are they realistic?
- Is there data to back up your goals (vs. wishful thinking)?
- Prospect and donor research?
- An updated case for giving?
- An understanding of the steps you take after someone gives you a gift? Including:
- How many acknowledgements go out and from whom?
- Who enters the gift into the system and how is it tagged so you can gather data at a later time?
- Do you do something different if it is an oral pledge vs a written pledge vs a check or online donation?
- Written gift acceptance policies?
- Board involvement in fundraising (and expectations for involvement)?
- 100% board giving to your annual fund (money, not just time and talent)
- An effective development committee?
- A stewardship plan?
- Processes to update the different thank you letters on at least an annual basis?
- A planned giving gift acceptance policy?
This is not an all-inclusive list for what to do with 1000 new donors.
In fact, it’s just an overview of considerations to create long-term financial stability and growth. But, just as it will take additional funds to secure your nonprofit’s future, it will take additional work – from everyone – to be able to accept those funds with confidence.
If you are planning to go viral with a story to help you find 1,000 new donors, or you want to have the kind of donors who will help your nonprofit succeed for the long-term, email me to today to talk about MJA’s Organization and Development Assessment. A full assessment will help you in untold ways. To learn more about what we can do for you, click here.