The Art of Face-to-Face Fundraising: San Francisco Fundraising Lab Recap

Fundraising Ideas

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Thanks so much to all of our clients who joined us in San Francisco on January 29th for the first Fundraising Lab of 2019!

Attendees networked with other local nonprofits, enjoyed Tom Iselin’s presentation of “Let’s Have Coffee: The Art of Face-to-Face Fundraising,” saw how other clients are using Qgiv’s features and driving success, and learned how to write a better appeal letter.

The purpose of the Fundraising Lab is to host events that give local organizations the opportunity to connect with each other and benefit from the expertise of industry pros. The events also give nonprofits the chance to talk with staff about all things Qgiv!

Interested in attending a future Fundraising Lab? See if we’re coming to your neck of the woods!

Let’s Have Coffee: The Art of Face-to-Face Fundraising 

Tom Iselin shared the key principles of face-to-face fundraising and why it’s a winning tactic. Face-to-face fundraising gives donors a chance to see and feel your passion for your mission and organization! Check out the 7 Strategic Fundraising Principles Tom shared with the crowd:

  1. Build sticky relationships
    • Personalize everything!
    • Focus on individual interest
  2. Make a “Connection Ask” first
    • The first ask is NOT for money
    • Ask the donor to come for a visit or volunteer for the day first
  3. Increase the number of face-to-face asks
    • This helps to connect with the donor and nurture the relationship
  4. Find, keep, and touch more donors
    • Create a referral system
    • Host open houses or awareness events
  5. Get donors involved
    • Have them come for a tour or volunteer
    • Invite them to attend an event
  6. Focus on the needs you need to fill
    • Frame your ask to show how it will benefit the beneficiaries, not your organization
  7. Create more goosebumps
    • Have a clear message

How To Build a Better Appeal

Sarah Sebastian, Director of Brand Communications at Qgiv, went step-by-step on how to craft a better appeal letter, from what people look at first in the letter to how to catch people’s attention with the envelope!

  • How donors skim an appeal
    1. Pictures
    2. Salutation
    3. Johnson Box & Post Script
    4. Signature
    5. Body of the letter
  • Pictures
    • Choose powerful images
    • People are going to feel more connected to a picture of a person or animal looking happy and healthy than sad or sick
  • Salutation
    • Don’t “Dear Friend” your donors
    • Try to use a salutation that matches the person’s interest if you don’t have their name. For example, use something like “Dear Animal Justice Warrior.”
  • Johnson Box & Post Script
    • 79-90% of readers look here first!
    • Great place to make an ask
  • Signature
    • Use someone besides the CEO to sign, like a volunteer or board member. If it is the CEO’s signature, try to include a personal note.
    • Be creative with the signature! For example, if your appeal is for an animal shelter, have the signature be from an adoptable pet
  • Body of the Appeal
    • Make it easy to scan
    • Make sure that it’s donor-centered. It should contain more “You” language that org-centered language.
    • Read the letter out loud! This is a good way to ensure it flows and makes sense.
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