Blog

Research-based fundraising tips, tricks, and trends.
Delivered weekly.

Energize Your Annual Giving Program with a Person-to-Person Fundraising Strategy  

Annual giving teams are under pressure. The numbers show that teams are squeezing more money from fewer donors than they ever have before.  

Among Reeher Community institutions: 

  • Donors are down 1.4%  
  • Retention rate is down 2.7% 
  • But dollars are up 2.1%.  

Dollars may be up, but annual giving teams should be concerned about decreasing participation and retention rates. Expecting a smaller pool of donors to support your annual fund each year isn’t sustainable. To combat these worrisome trends, annual giving teams need a new strategy to increase donors and improve retention rates. There is a tremendous opportunity for annual giving teams to harness the power of person-to-person fundraising for converting constituents into donors.  

People Give to People  

Annual giving teams already know the power of person-to-person fundraising. Phone programs have traditionally relied on the connections donors make with student callers. However, in recent years phone has been declining in effectiveness as a fundraising outreach channel. People are less willing or available to pick up the phone to talk. As phone’s effectiveness wanes, something has to replace the dollars and donors that are no longer coming in.  

Creating the Personal Touch Across All Your Channels 

You can use a person-to-person approach to enhance the effectiveness of your strategy regardless of channel. For example, if your institution employs students to solicit for annual giving, have the same student who makes the phone call to a certain group of donors sign off on the emails these donors receive, or be the name in the text solicitations. Connecting a student name and story across channel types helps reinforce to donors the direct, personal impact of their donation and provides them with a sense of continuity.   

 More: Your Best Giving Day: Before, During & After 

Personal Story-Telling  

Schools have also experimented with content and storytelling that delves deep into the personal experiences of a student, or a group of students. Institutions have long known that direct, hyper-focused stories help donors form a personal connection that spurs their gift. This great strategy can be expanded to bridge multiple channels so that when a donor hears from you by direct mail, email, phone, or more, they’re getting a continuation of a personal story.    

Annual Giving teams are juggling many different projects at once and prioritizing your time is hard. Here’s Why It Makes Sense to Actively Manage Your Volunteer Fundraisers’ Portfolios   


Reeher Acquired by Blackbaud

capital campaigns are teetering like a overextended jenga tower

5 Capital Campaign Myths Debunked

Passing the Relay Baton

How Leadership Annual Giving Can Help Build an Integrated, Collaborative Fundraising Office

Minneapolis skyline

What to See & Do in Minneapolis During Reeher Vista 2018

fundraising news

Higher Ed Fundraising News (July 2018)

implementing the Reeher platform

5 Ways to Ensure a Successful Reeher Adoption

A Painfree Database Conversion Is Possible

A Pain-Free Database Conversion is Possible (Infographic)

5 Fundraising Quotes To Help Managers Identify & Nurture Great Teams

3 Strategies That Make You an Annual Giving Superstar

7 Fascinating Fundraising Conferences For the Second Half of 2018

Data management can optimize your fundraising

How Donor Data Management Can Optimize Your Fundraising