Donor Relations Strategy
A project for FiXiT Foundation
Feb. 12, 2013
Pro Bono Time
FiXiT is focused on bringing an end to over four million cats and dogs killed in US shelters every year by increasing participating in spay/neuter programs. We are using new strategies and innovative research to generate solutions for bring spay and neuter to everyone. We are currently engaged in two programs:
1) A case study on the island of St. Croix to identify the tipping point where people previously opposed to spay/neuter become interested (adjusting marketing messages, prices, and incentives).
2) And we have a program called GetYourFix.org where we match low-income families who need help getting their pets fixed with donors who want their donations to have a direct impact.
The goal of a donor relations strategy project is to develop an action plan that will all us to take full advantage of an email recruitment campaign.
Our objectives for this project are:
1) Develop a communication timeline focused on new email recruit and existing contact cultivation
2) Choose content that will be most engaging for potential supporters
3) Develop donor follow up plan that optimizes long-term relationships
4) Support a year end donation campaign
Sustaining donors’ engagement with an organization is far more cost-effective than acquiring new donors. A donor relations strategy involves an effective structure for engaging existing donors in the organization’s work by timely and appropriate donor communication, acknowledgement, appreciation and gift stewardship.
A donor relations strategy document of no more than 10 pages that includes:
- Donor relations goals
- Tactical donor relations activities (e.g. a donor communication plan, a donor appreciation plan, etc.)
- Guidelines for measuring the success of donor relations efforts (e.g. retention and attrition rates of different donor levels, number of contacts made with donors, etc.)
The professional meets with the organization to discuss organization’s current donor relations program. This may include the organization’s strategies for donor communication, acknowledgement, appreciation, and gift stewardship, retention and attrition rates of different donor levels, and existing communications materials.
The professional assesses the organization’s goals, available resources and budget to be allocated to the donor relations program.
The professional develops a strategy recommending tactical donor relations activities (e.g. creating an e-newsletter, organizing a donor recognition event, etc.) and a time frame.
The professional and organization go through 2-3 rounds of review and make necessary changes to the strategy document.
The professional and organization establish guidelines to measure the success of tactical donor relations efforts (e.g. retention and attrition rates of different donor levels, number of contacts made with donors, etc.).
The professional delivers a final draft of the donor relations strategy document.
- At least 2 years of experience in donor relations, stewardship, alumni relations, development and fundraising, marketing, public relations, communications
- Prior experience in building and strengthening relationships with constituents
- Prior experience in planning and executing communications and marketing support for a comprehensive fundraising campaign
- Ability to provide access to the organization’s donor data (e.g. donor retention and attrition rates, etc.)
- Willingness to allocate budget and resources to marketing and communications activities as a part of the donor relations strategy
- Ability to implement recommendations