Calling ALL New Friends for 2016!

baby boomers

by Susanna Decker, Senior Consultant, HUB Philanthropic Solutions

In working with different not for profit groups over the years, one topic seems to emerge with every organization.  WE NEED NEW FRIENDS.  We need to expand our reach.  We need to secure more new donors and recruit board members from beyond our inner circle.

Likely, this is something that you have discussed as well.  It’s January…you’ve already made your resolutions.  But, it’s not too late to add one more.  Make it a priority to make new friends this year.  Here are a few ways to do so:

Throw a few parties. 

They can be large or small.  Mix it up.  Ask a board member to host a cocktail party at their home and strategically invite folks you would like to engage more with your organization.  Have a donor host a small group for lunch, or plan a monthly “Breakfast with your Executive Director.” Look at your data and find those donors that have a history with your organization that you’d like to get to know better.  But…don’t just throw a party.  Have a strategy for each person you invite.  Who should follow up after the event?  What’s the next step?  Is it a visit to the organization?  Or, an invitation to serve on a committee?  Have the strategies outlined BEFORE the event so that you can be ready to hit the ground running within a day or two after the event.

Pick up the phone.

Many of us are lucky to have new donors that make first-time gifts during the Holidays.  Make it a priority to call every single new donor that made a year-end gift.  If you are lucky enough to have too many for you to manage, reach out to your Board or development committee members and ask them for help.  It’s an easy task to thank folks…one that many board members feel happy to do and often feel reinvigorated about the mission themselves.  It’s a WIN WIN!  When calling, find out as much as you can about these new contributors.  Invite them for a visit or to meet for a cup of coffee.  Learn what inspired their first gift to your organization.  Why did they give? What programs interest them?  Ask them advice about the materials they received.  What did they like?  What didn’t they like?  Have some wonderful conversations with new donors and forge new friendships.

Happy New Year…here’s to new resolutions and new friends!


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