Communication.One of the “pushbacks” we get from major gift officers about “The Veritus Way” is the need to create at least one touch point per month, PER DONOR, for everyone in your portfolio. Over the course of a year, that’s 1,800 touch points.
That’s where the pushback comes from. It seems so daunting of a task that it immediately gets rejected by the major gift fundraiser as being “too much.”
It’s not as daunting as you might think, but I’ll go into how to do it in a bit. I first want to make the case for WHY this amount of communication is so important.

  1. You’re building trust. This requires solid communication that shows the donor you know them.
  2. You’re building a case. Ongoing communication that is thanking, reporting back, and showing ongoing need is necessary for a donor to want to continue giving.
  3. You’re creating desire. Your consistent communication with a donor should be designed to create a desire in your donor to want to “do something” about a need they can help address.
  4. You’re delighting the donor. The touch points you’ll be sending every month are about trying to delight the donor in every conceivable way. This is your attitude as you prepare these touch points. This will set you apart from all the other ways they are being communicated with from other organizations.

Okay, so this is why it’s so important to provide consistent (at least monthly) touch points for your donors.
Now here’s how to look at this so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.

  1. Tiering your donors. Your A level donors will receive your most personal type of touch points. As you continue down, the B’s and C’s get less personal. (Learn more about tiering your donors in this White Paper.)
  2. Review all the communication pieces that your organization already creates. For example, your organization creates a quarterly newsletter. That’s four months of touch points right there. Now you just need to personalize how you deliver that newsletter to each tier level of donor. Perhaps you also put out an annual report. That’s another month’s worth of touch points. So take all of those and put them into your Marketing Impact Chart (MIC) by donor. My guess is that you’ll have 6-8 months’ worth of touch points that have already been created. And all you have to do is personalize them.
  3. Decide when you’re going to solicit the donor. Then work a few months back from that date and figure out what you need to create desire in the donor for that particular offer. Remember to have a match to their passions and interests.
  4. Important dates in the donor’s life. Do you know their birthday, anniversary, or how long they’ve been giving to you? Put that into your MIC.
  5. Thanking and reporting impact. Over the course of a year, you should send thank you notes and update the donor on the impact of their giving – both formally and informally. That’s 3 to 4 months of touch points right there.
  6. “Hey, they know me” touch points. Create at least one touch point per donor, per year, that shows the donor that you and your organization really know that donor – especially for your “A-level” donors. For example, you know your donor loves old movies. You come across an article about how someone’s mission is to preserve old movie film and the process it takes. What do you do? Send that donor the article in the mail, or e-mail them the link to it.

You see, it’s not so hard if you think about it this way!
These 1,800 touch points are critical and will be the reason you’re successful as a major gift officer. It’s that consistent “drip” of communication with your donor that will create the trust needed, and ultimately the desire needed, to make a significant gift. (Tweet it!)
PS — If you want more in-depth study on how to create effective touch points, check out this short, on-demand course from Major Gift Academy: “Touch Points: Connecting with Donors between Asks.”