What’s your ONE THING?
For each person, that THING is unique.
This idea informs the work of noted author, speaker and entrepreneur Gary Keller. He wrote a terrific book that boils down the essence of one’s success to just ONE THING.
Keller tells us that no matter what the distraction, we need to focus on our ONE THING to achieve success. That THING is personal, applicable ONLY to you and your unique set of circumstances.
As a fundraising trainer focused on taking action, I like to think of Keller’s ONE THING as something we should be doing TODAY that will have the biggest impact on our work. For many fundraisers, that THING is donor interaction.
So let’s zero in on some of these ONE THINGS that we all can be doing to spend more time with donors.
MAKE THE CALL…AND DO IT ROUTINELY
Pick up the phone and call 1-3 current Planned Giving donors every day.
It’s as easy as taking out your annual report, reviewing the list of donors in your Planned Giving Society and creating an outreach plan.
Ask yourself two very important questions:
- Has everyone on the list been contacted within the last year to confirm his/her commitment?
- Have they been called just to be reminded how much they are appreciated?
As a Planned Giving donor, I can assure you we do not get enough “thank you” calls.
DO A DEEP DIVE
Reach back into your organization’s past and run a 10 or more years’ consecutive giving report. Then, as you did with your current roster of Planned Givers, reach out to 1-3 people from that list per day. The outreach can take the form of a thank you letter or email.
Thank them for their long-term loyalty and tell them you will be calling in the next week or so to check in. A week later, call them and thank them again for their loyalty. Let them know you’ll be in their area and would like to stop by to thank them personally. This will help you find out what keeps the donor so loyal to your charity.
People love to talk about themselves. Ask them to tell you their story in person or on the phone. This ONE THING opens the door to further communication and allows you to establish a current relationship with a long-time benefactor.
EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM, THE FISH, AND THE SEEDS
Try doing a “10 before 10.”
A fundraiser I know sets a goal to make 10 donor or prospect calls each morning before 10:00 am. It keeps him on track and helps him continue to move the needle.
It also allows us to get back some of our greatest asset: TIME.
We can always find the time to spend with donors and prospects if we eliminate the things that aren’t necessary. Give it a try. I guarantee that you will be amazed at your new level of productivity.
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As Keller says, “all great achievements are the result of sustained focus over time — all of them.”
By retraining our focus and incorporating these ONE THINGS into our daily outreach routine, we establish new connections and strengthen old ones.