Thank You Letter Checklist [free download]

So your year end appeal is written and off to the mail house…You’ve setup some pre-holiday visits with your key donors. Lapsed donor lists are printed and you’re checking the daily. What else can you do to boost fundraising before the end of the year?

Have you read your standard gift acknowledgement letter lately? Is it actually enjoyable to read? Has it been updated in the last six months? Is it donor centric?

Check out this great Thank You Letter Checklist from my pals at Agents of Good and see if your letter is up the task of making your donors feel amazing.

DOWNLOAD HERE

Fundraising Appeal Editable Template [free download]

Need a head start on your next fundraising appeal?

Start with @fundraiserchad’s free editable template. It will show you what goes where and help you remember to include some of the key components to optimized fundraising appeals.

DOWNLOAD HERE

This template is just one of the components of our Fundraising Appeals Toolkit. This toolkit give you the instruction, resources and inspiration to create a fully optimized fundraising appeal for your nonprofit organization (all for just $89 … the ROI is incredible)!

Donor Update Call Script [free download]

Are you calling your donors to thank them for their support? Are your board members helping out? I certainly hope so, if not you are losing out as other nonprofits in town are connecting with your donors this way!

With donor thank you calls becoming more common these days, how do you stand out? Try donor update calls.

These calls are very similar to donor thank you calls, but they take place three to six months after the donation is made. We are once again calling to say thank you, but this time we have results to share. We have the proof that their donation made a difference and we simply want to share that with them.

Sound good? Read to pick up the phone? Nervous … here’s my Donor Update Call Script to help you out. Now go call some donors!

DOWNLOAD NOW

Super Simple Elevator Speech Template [free download]

How do you talk about your nonprofit organization?

How do your board members talk about your organization? Are they nervous? If so, they’re probably trying to recite your mission statement and totally butchering it.

Make it easy for them … give them a super simple elevator speech to recite that leads right into a story about the impact your organization has had on one person.

Here’s the super simple formula …

  • “We help [who],”
  • “So they can [do what].”
  • “Let me tell you about [first name], [story]”

This is far easier to remember than our boring, jargon-filled mission statements. And exact words aren’t important … just get the basic concept and you’re golden.

Better yet, let your board create the elevator speech. Download my Super Simple Elevator Speech Template and have your board members complete it as an exercise at your next board meeting or retreat.

It’s amazing what can happen when everyone is telling the same story out in the community. You just have to give them the tools to do so.

Monthly Donor Conversion Request Template [free download]

Monthly donors. They sound great, right? Predictable, recurring, consistent revenue. {cue fundraiser drooling}

But how do you get them? How do you get your current donors to convert (upgrade) to monthly donors? Simple … you ask.

However, it needs to be a direct, personalized ask. Not a generic upgrade email about the your monthly donor program. I’m talking about a personalized email or letter specifically asking them to make the switch. I like to call it a win-win letter. You tell them what’s in it for them and what’s in it for you. And you personalize the request by using their name, adding a note, etc. It should look like personal correspondence.

In my experience, this approach is far more successful than generic requests. However, it often takes several tries. So keep at it and ask folks to consider this at least once a year.

Oh, and feel free to speed this process up by starting with my template.

Evaluation Sheet for New Fundraising Ideas [free download]

Do you have more ideas than you know what to do with?

Or does your board of directors have more ideas for you than you can possibly act on? Are they all for new fundraising events? (don’t get me started on this … that’s another post)

How do you evaluate fundraising ideas and decide which ones to pursue?

My friends Alice Ferris and Jim Anderson at GoalBusters Consulting have simplified this process with their great “Evaluation Sheet for New Fundraising Ideas.” This tool lets you evaluate new fundraising ideas along the following criteria:

  • Potential revenue
  • Effort
  • Likely success
  • Uniqueness
  • Mission match (my favorite one)

You end up with a simple score for each idea and can quickly see which idea makes the most sense to pursue.

My bonus tip is to score your current fundraising ideas at the same time. This works really well if you have a committee that is change averse … once they see the numbers they are typically more open to a discussion.

Give it a download today and put it to work in your shop.

Download It Here

Board Fundraising Menu

Do you have a “fundraising board?” Did that question just make you laugh?

If so, you are not alone, many (most) nonprofit organizations struggle with engaging their board in the fundraising process. In my experience the issue typically comes down to the lack of one (or a combination of the following):

  • Clarity on their role;
  • Knowledge on how to perform their role;
  • Motivation to complete their role

Productive Fundraising’s “Board Fundraising Menu” helps to address each of these issues by providing a list of 30+ ways that these members can assist with helping your reach your goals. It is designed as an exercise that board members complete where they indicate which tasks they are comfortable and willing to assist with. Download the sample to create a custom menu for your organization. And then you can begin moving your board to a more engaged state!

Download It Here

Fundraising Forecasting Template

Fundraising Forecasting Template

I’m practicing what I preach today.  Rather than creating a fundraising forecasting tool for you, I’m sharing the awesome one that my friend Peter Drury created.  Peter’s a great guy, incredible fundraiser and a fellow #afpeep.  Here’s what he has to say about this great FREE tool …

“Do you ever feel like you’re swimming in information about relationships, prospects, potential asks, completed asks, grant opportunities… and then someone asks you for a forecast? (Usually they don’t ask for a forecast, but instead ask (with anxiety in their voice), “How are we doing this year? Are we going to make our goal? How confident are you we can make it?”

If you’ve ever struggled to answer the anxious questions above, and you’d like a methodical way of responding – that you can update once/monthly and always keep the forecast current – then this template has been made for you! I’ve created this template in Excel, with all formulas embedded, so you can simply swap out the fake names for real ones and use this to impress your board, peers, and executive director. More importantly, it will help keep your work in focus, so that you can more effectively manage opportunities and relationships and, in turn, raise more money.”

Download It Here

Grant Calendar Template [free download]

Have you ever missed a grant deadline? 

Or maybe more likely, a close out report deadline? 

It’s easy to do. What’s the secret to avoiding it? 

Get everything all in one place and check it regularly (monthly, if not weekly).  Give our FREE Grant Calendar Template a download and make it your own.

[click to immediately download to your computer]

Lynne Wester’s Stewardship Report Swap

Do you need to write a donor update or annual report?  Do you want to do something different but are feeling uninspired?

Well, today I share my go to source … Lynne Wester, the Donor Relations Guru.

Lynne conducts the annual Stewardship Report Swap.  This year she and her team received over 1,800 pages of stewardship report samples. These samples include endowment reports, customized top donor reports, annual reports, videos, websites, and more.  Lynne beautifully combines and categorizes them and then puts them out to the fundraising community for free.  Check them out (and her … she’s sassy fun and amazing … she was the first to coin the term “thask”).