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The ask! 6 effective tips for solicitation in fundraising


Solicitation is the asking component of fundraising, and it involves only a small portion of the process.

solicitation | noun

the act of asking for or trying to obtain something from someone.
"he was a regular target for solicitation of funds"

- Oxford Languages Dictionary 

1. Solicitation: Remember that solicitation is just one part of the fundraising process. It involves asking for donations and constitutes a small portion of the overall effort.

2. Annual Fund Solicitation: Direct mail is a key component of Annual Fund Solicitation, although online fundraising is also gaining popularity. To ensure success, nonprofits need to maintain an updated database with the names and addresses of prospects. This can be an internal file or an external one purchased or rented from the market.

“Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.”

Hank Rosso

3. Segmenting Donors: Nonprofits can segment their donors into different categories, such as nonprofit and for-profit, or based on their likelihood to support the organization’s mission. This helps in identifying prospects for the Annual Fund and building relationships with organizations that are most likely to fund the programs.

4. Maintain an Up-to-date Donor List: Keeping an updated file of all donors and prospects is crucial for a direct mail program. After all, if the mail doesn’t reach the intended audience, the message inside the envelope won’t matter. Regularly update and maintain your mailing list.

5. Include Return Envelopes and Reply Cards: When sending direct mail, make sure to include return envelopes that can be either postage paid or not. Additionally, reply cards are important components of the direct mail packet. These cards should have the preprinted name and address of the prospect, as well as the organization’s name and address in case the card gets separated from the return envelope.

6. Provide Clear Instructions: Include notes on how to make out the check, suggest appropriate gift levels, and mention how to match the gift through the prospect’s workplace if they have a corporate matching gift program.

Remember, effective fundraising involves building relationships, maintaining accurate records, and providing clear instructions to donors. Good luck with your nonprofit fundraising efforts!

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