6 steps to a successful appeal

February 25, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

Know what it is you’re doing. Isn’t it amazing how often we can overlook the most basic requirements of life.

Speaking during the 2013 National Catholic Development Conference, Chris Bicknell and Timi Paccioretti of Little Green Light Donor Management (LGL) said that a successful appeal requires preparation, which starts with knowing what is needed. Once that is done, make it manageable, be clear and seek buy-in.

Once all of those preparatory steps have been taken, then it is possible to that the six steps to a successful appeal. The six steps are:

  • Identify prospects and acquire data. Centralized donor data is critical to maximizing gifts. Engage multiple constituencies.
  • Segment the data. Data = strategy.
  • Personalize the appeal.  This is necessary for growth. Appeal strategy is focused on three key areas: renewing existing donors, recapturing past donors and acquiring new donors. There are also invites and transitions.
  • Ensure proper gift accounting and acknowledgment. Categorize gifts. Be creative and thank donors often.
  • Develop a stewardship and cultivation plan.  There are many ways to steward donors, so have a plan in place by which to do so. Sharing progress is one helpful approach.
  • Evaluate the appeal. Use a year-by-year analysis. Identify increasing gift opportunities. Set goals.