By now many of you have bumper crops! With all the rain, you still need to cultivate your garden to enjoy the "fruit" of your efforts. There are many supporters of League who do not join. Some say they don't have the time for one reason or another (...and we've heard them all!). Yet, they still donate to the League.

Don't forget them!

Leagues should continue inviting your non member donors to as many events of yours as possible.... I'd suggest mailing them a copy of any publication you do, with a nice cover letter thanking them for their support and explaining the piece. If you have their email address, forward them a news-clipping about your League or anything similar that highlights the work you are doing... I'd try to let them get something from you at least 4 to 6 times a year, something that is not a solicitation, if you can. The idea is to stay in touch, give them options for getting involved/attending, give them multiple opportunities to hear news of your League, and multiple times to give to your League. For example, you could invite ALL your $100 donors to the banquet, not just those who live nearby..... If they can't attend, at least they know they have been invited... and that you are doing such a banquet.

I close with a list of various ways to cultivate a donor or prospect.. just a starting list to get you thinking..

31 Ways to Cultivate Your Donors

By Stephen Hitchcock

  • Invite them to visit
  • Visit them
  • Arrange meetings for them with other major donors
  • Invite them to be your board
  • Ask them to host major donors parties
  • Ask them for advice
  • Take them to funded projects
  • Send them notes or cards on birthdays or anniversaries
  • Send them flowers when in the hospital
  • Send gifts with personal notes
  • Send press clippings and notes when they're published or recognized in the news
  • Send photos of beneficiaries
  • Give them handicrafts or artwork by beneficiaries
  • Send certificates
  • Write and call to thank them personally
  • Install a dedicated 800-number to make it easier for them to contact you
  • Invite them to join an Honorary or Advisory Board
  • Look for ways to develop shared, unrelated interests
  • Invite them to join delegations or go on trips
  • Send them questionnaires
  • Send them copies of your PSAs and news releases
  • Send videotapes about your agency's work
  • Send your newsletter to them via 1st class in envelopes
  • Issue press releases about major gifts
  • Regularly ask them for more gifts
  • Make every request a thank-you
  • Send them copies of your direct mail packages, either preceded by a note of explanation and/or with cover notes
  • Establish a memorial or tribute gifts program
  • Host a son or daughter
  • Hold special events or activities at the local or neighborhood level
  • Establish a donor recognition program

I hope some of these suggestions have encouraged you to grow your membership by cultivating your non-member donors!