Coffee, Tea or Donor Segmentation
While the idea of meeting every single donor over coffee sounds nice -- and over-caffeinated perhaps -- the reality is that smart fundraising also depends on mass communication tools. Talking to the 'masses' however is not an excuse for treating your best donors like strangers, or treating new donors like they already understand your mission.
That's where segmentation comes in. Segmentation enables you to group your donors into different audiences and then adjust your messaging so that it makes sense to that audience. You can segment your new donors together so that your message acknowledges that you know they are new to your organization and welcomes them in. You can segment your volunteers together so that your message thanks them for their invaluable time and encourages them to pair it with financial support.
As you begin to plan your end-of-year approach, think hard about who is on the receiving end of your messaging. Are you sending the right message to the right audience?
Nothing equals telling a long-time donor that you know they've been loyally by your side all these years. Nothing will alienate this donor faster than a letter that asks them to 'join us!' for the first time...when in fact they had 'joined you' long ago.
Is it tedious to dice and slice your database and write different solicitation letters for each segment? Perhaps. It's far more costly to find an equally generous new donor to replace the long-time donor you've just alienated with poor messaging.