Transform one-time gifts through gratitude and caring

By Gaylyn Williams, With 0 comments

image of book titled Never Do Fundraising AgainAccording to research done by, more than half of first-time donors never give again. What a tragic loss! You can change the statistics.

People who give you one-time gifts are the best candidates for long-term partnership. When someone sends a one-time gift, here are some ideas we’ve both used, and seen God honor.

  • Try to get their phone number and call them. Here are some things you might do during that phone call:
  • Express your joy and gratitude for their generosity.
  • Tell them how you’re going to use the gift. Be as specific as possible.
  • If you don’t know them well, ask about their lives and their family, and really listen.
  • Ask how you can pray for them and keep notes.
  • Ask if you can call or write them occasionally. If so, call them at an appropriate time to learn how they are doing and what has happened with the prayer issues they shared.
  • If they don’t know about you and your ministry, you might share a few highlights, but keep it short!
  • Do not mention financial needs.
  • Write a personal note of thanks in addition to the phone call. Make it handwritten. A short e-mail might be appropriate, if it’s very clear that you are writing only to them. But keep in mind that handwritten notes are an extremely effective way of expressing gratitude.
  • Continue to follow up with them with some kind of personal communication monthly for six to twelve months, even if they don’t give more during that time. This might include an occasional printed letter with a handwritten note.

Excerpted from Never Do Fundraising Again. Discover how to convert one-time gifts into lifetime partnerships.

“This book reflects our core belief about the types of relations needed for sustainable, effective work (and life in general). True friendships are lifelong treasures. And true friends make great ministry partners! Thanks for helping us understand resource realities (finances) in light of relational resiliency (friendships). Your use of metaphors, examples, Scripture and suggestions really help to make the material practical.”

—Dr. Kelly O’Donnell and Dr. Michèle Lewis O’Donnell, Consulting Psychologists, Member Care Associates, Inc.

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