blue rule


Published February 17, 2019

Weekly Idea - Hopeful Giving

The Star of Hope (Houston, Texas) is the second largest center for the homeless in the country. For years, Kathy Tabor headed the successful development program.

I urged her to start calling her donors to thank them for their gifts. Kathy started calling. She tells me: “The giving went up 40 percent. It was amazing.”

I am not surprised. Chuck Longfield, who is the Chief Scientist at Blackbaud, says the same thing. He points out that it can go up 40 percent, regardless of whether you actually speak to the person or just leave a message.

I’m a great proponent of calling every person who makes a gift of a hundred dollars or more. In some organizations, the minimum threshold could be fifty dollars. And for all first-time donors, they get a call no matter what the amount.

I was with a group the other day. They have close to a hundred thousand donors every year. The CEO says: “How could we ever call all of them?”

I tell him, “That’s a great problem to have. Use volunteers or get one of those companies that call for donations. You know, the ones that call at dinnertime! Have them call your donors simply to thank them.”

If I can assure you that your gifts will increase by 40 percent, isn’t it worth all the effort you can put into it? I promise you it is.