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Small donations add up

Most of the work I do is with small, grassroots nonprofits. They all have some donors that give at the higher level, but where they really rock it is with continually receiving a large amount of smaller donations. These smaller donations add up, and allow the organizations to have even greater impact.

I know, a lot of what you hear about is major donors this and major donors that. I’m sure most of what you hear is true, at least for the nonprofit saying it. This post isn’t about major donors and isn’t saying anything negative about them. The point here is to open anyone’s mind around the value of all of your donors who are giving smaller amounts.

Most smaller donations come from e-appeals. They also come from people who have some level of interest in your mission. If you have the capacity to grow your smaller-donor base (and the desire!), the e-appeal is a great place to start. The organizations that have built their base of smaller donations begin here. Then they ensure quick thanking coupled with shared impact.

Once these have been done the next move can be to invite these same donors to become monthly donors. Share the impact of their moving to monthly giving. Keep in mind that growing your list of monthly donors takes time, both time to grow and time to work those relationships. Capacity is key to starting this.

Keep in mind that some of your appeals targeting smaller donations will be for the one-time donation and others will be to create donors from those who give. Regardless of where a specific donor lands, their donation can be the start of an ongoing relationship.

Relationship? With someone who donated $10.00?

Definitely. At first look remember that you know nothing of this donor, have no clue why they gave, and that it’s up to what the next step is. My idea is to start building the relationship as soon as you receive their first donation.

What can you do this week to connect with your donors giving at smaller amounts?

Thank you for reading!

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