Annual Giving takes daily effort

The 3rd post in a ‘live-blogging’ effort at the AFP International Conference. Today’s guest post is by Pete Moore, the Development and Communications Coordinator for The Baby Fold, a child welfare agency in Normal, Illinois. He also runs www.Kneejerk.org, a resource for uppity non-profit professionals. Follow him on Twitter at @Petehelps.

Jill Pranger has helped several non-profit boards, committees and organizations through Pranger Philanthropic. She knows annual giving and thus –  led a great session on it:

Annual Giving… Changing Lives through Loyal Donors

Jill began her session with a statement that should become a mantra for annual giving: It doesn’t matter how you’re reaching out to your donors — the principles are still the same. Whether using direct mail, email, Twitter, blogs or any number of new channels, the methodology for reaching donors is still the same.

Jill juxtaposed traditional thinking on annual fundraising with new trends in the field:

Old: One effort, same time, same request, same amount, same donors, same method.

New: A series of smaller, targeted, focused efforts that run throughout the year

The principles for effective fundraising include:

* Developing an annual (duh!) schedule for sending asks
* Asking regularly and definitively
* Segmenting donors by their potential to give, preferred ask channels
* Recognizing the gifts of donors and their positions within your organization
* Reporting the successes and failures (including non-dollar goals) of your annual campaign
* Celebrating and planning for the next year

She also stressed several characteristics of successful campaigns:

*Understanding and adjusting for economic and organizational climates
* Effective writing with strong asks, easy readability
* Warm and timely thank you and acknowledgments

Jill concluded that campaigns are successful when fundraisers balance effective planning and analysis with real thinking about donors and their desires.

To keep up with the conversation at the conference, follow #afpmeet on Twitter!

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