In his article The Power of ‘The List’: 4 Ways to Maximize Your Contact List, Derrick Feldmann shares what he feels is the most important aspect of every fundraising campaign and how to strengthen it. The list is your database of names, phones numbers, and addresses of those involved in and with your organization. It is a collection of all of your contact information for past, present, and potential donors. Feldmann states that even with the best mission and messaging in the world wont matter if you’re list isn’t strong. He goes on to explain how to improve your list.
1. Contact donors on a regular basis. Reach out to donors with information on, new, and updates at least four times a year. Feldmann compares not connecting with donors to being that friend who only contacts you once a year to ask for money. Share with donors and potential supporters highlights of what your organization is working on and how they can play a role in supporting you.
2. Integrate online and offline connections. Don’t ignore the power of print. Yes, you can reach a numerous amount of people through blogs and emails but that doesn’t mean you’re engaging those on your list. Feldmann suggests printing postcards with the image of those who have been helped by your organization and send it to those on your list. Think about ways, not just online, that you can connect with donors.
3. Build your list by creating personal relationships. Get out of the office and reach out to potential donors personally. Communicate with your stakeholders the importance of the work your organization is doing and they will communicate that information with their personal networks. People usually don’t decide to support an organization just from looking at a blog or reading a newsletter. You have to remember to go out and earn support from others.
4. Use volunteers to reach out to those on your list. Have volunteers call, email, or send letters to those on your list with updates, upcoming event information, and news related to your issue or cause. Have them thank donors for tier support and their time.
Maximizing your contact list will strengthen your organizations fundraising campaign by establishing stronger connections with your stakeholders.
Samone Coleman is a junior at the University of Iowa pursuing a degree in Sociology as well as certificates in Fundraising and Philanthropy Communications, Human Rights, and Critical Cultural Competence. She hopes to one day work as Field Organizer for Amnesty International.