5 best practices for delivering progress reports to your major gift and legacy supporters

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

Tony Robbins, the author of Money: Master the Game, discussed “How Progress Equals Happiness” earlier this year on Oprah’s digital web-show – #OWNSHOW.
So true! Your supporters want to see what you’ve done with their money. If you share that information with them, they’ll give you more gifts. Tweet this!
Here are my 5 best practices for delivering fundraising progress reports:
1. What’s this all about? Remind them who you are and how you are connected. Don’t flatter yourself. You and your mission are not the only things on their minds. They are busy. Remind them (briefly and succinctly).
2. Tell them where you stand right now. Be specific. Timelines are terrific. Use them. Show them what’s been accomplished and what still needs to get done.
3. Use pictures to tell the story. And remember to add captions! People love captions!! Videos are even better than pictures. So, if you have ’em, use ’em.
4. Enable a response or conversation. Make it easy for them to continue the dialogue with a survey, reply button, links to more information, opt-in forms, download offers, etc. Provide your email and phone number. Don’t hide! Make yourself available and accessible. They deserve access.
5. Keep it simple!!! No technical language. Be “punchy”, informational, educational, and heart-warming. No one cares about your technical gobbly-gook! Use charts and graphics, headlines and captions for your fundraising progress reports.
Here’s how two charities do it:
Click on this email below to see the web page:
fundraising progress reports
progress report email sample


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