Membership

The Search for Renewal

Posted by on Dec 5, 2017 in Featured, Fundraising Letters, Membership | 0 comments

The Search for Renewal

Among the data points I get back from my website each week is the number of “page hits” I get from the top twenty or so most popular pages. The most popular page right now is a 2015 post of Writing Renewal Letters. And it has been for about the last month. If the popularity of that page somehow reflects how many of you are spending your time in November and December, let me point out that one of the points of that post was a recommendation to write your renewal letters for the year in February. Get that activity out of the end-of-year flurry! Let me also provide this quick reminder primer:...

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A Sweet Spot

Posted by on Sep 5, 2017 in Donor Cultivation, Featured, Membership | 1 comment

A Sweet Spot

Quick Question: How would you go about doubling your operating revenue in the next five years or so? In a recent Learning Center thread, a writer asked for information about membership numbers and growth rates. She explained that she was “not wanting to promise wildly inaccurate numbers and also want to know what type of growth rate for which to realistically aim.” Several people, including me, responded with experience and ideas – all of which were helpful for the question she asked. But was she asking the right question? I was reminded of the story of a person climbing a ladder. S/he was...

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The Hidden Fact That Will Change the Way You Write Appeal Letters

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Communication, Featured, Membership | 3 comments

The Hidden Fact That Will Change the Way You Write Appeal Letters

If you’re smart, you won’t wait until November to write your end-of-year appeal. If you’re really smart, you will have already written it. OK so most of us aren’t that smart. But the fact still remains that it’s not too early to get a good start on it for 2017.     It’s fall! Time to give. So, here’s my general advice for approaching the task of getting to that first draft of the appeal letter: Start with a story. Return to the story at several points in the letter. List your board members down the left-hand side of the first page. Use 1.25” margins, 13pt type, and double space...

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Don’t Overdo Renewal Letters

Posted by on Aug 8, 2017 in Featured, Membership | 3 comments

Don’t Overdo Renewal Letters

Many land trusts renew their members in the Fall and many are now scrambling to produce renewal letters. Some I’ve seen, and they lead me to make the following recommendation to everyone: Don’t overdo it! Renewal letters need to do three things: They need to remind me of WHY I’m a member. They need to remind me of what I gave last year. And they need to suggest an increased level of support this year. And they need to do all that in an emotional – not data-driven – way. The most common way to overdo it is to try and resell the donor on the merits of the organization. I still see a lot of...

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Do You Have Enough Prospects? – A Fresh Take on Gift Charts

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in Featured, Membership, Plans and Budgets | Comments Off on Do You Have Enough Prospects? – A Fresh Take on Gift Charts

Do You Have Enough Prospects? – A Fresh Take on Gift Charts

Or – How will we ever raise $100,000 this year?!? If you can make a goal tangible, it will help you imagine it being real, and if you can make it real, you can make it possible. (And frankly, if it’s not possible, you’re better off finding that out early, right?) A gift chart can help. Here’s how. Most of us are familiar with the basics of a gift chart – a list of gifts needed to make a specific goal with higher-level gifts listed first and smaller gifts listed below in descending tiers, sometimes called a donor pyramid. Gift charts are commonly used in capital campaigns – and rarely used...

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Giveaways, Trinkets, and Other Premiums

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Featured, Membership | Comments Off on Giveaways, Trinkets, and Other Premiums

Giveaways, Trinkets, and Other Premiums

I fielded a question about premiums again last week. I get these periodically, because it seems intuitive that if someone is going to join, or give, or upgrade, or renew, they will need to get “something” in return.   This is probably the case only rarely. Most donors want to support the work we’re doing because it is work they value. Why do we have such a hard time believing that?   Now, to be sure people will often take advantage of token items that are offered once they have already decided to give, but the gift itself is just that – a gift.   If you are in the...

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