Want to Score a Touchdown? Get Moving on Those Personalized Touchpoints

Updated: Feb 13




The Big Game is happening this weekend and even if you don't love football, you gotta love those commercials! That's one of my favorite parts about watching the game. Another take-away is watching the amount of strategy that goes into moving the ball down the field.


There have been sports-fundraising analogies put out there in the past by many professionals. Sayings like, "You have to keep going to the plate if you want to make a run" (keep asking for money even when you get a no). Or, You'll never make the shot if you don't aim for the hoop (you're not asking for enough). These analogies tell us we should continue to get up and move forward, regardless of the rejection.


Some teams, both in sports and fundraising, do it better than others. The one key thing that makes them successful is that they keep moving along. Even when they have a bad play or don't get the money, they don't let that stop them from winning the game. Be the winning team by moving your touchpoints down the field.


If your touchpoints only include sending a donor a thank you letter or an annual report, it's going to take you a lot longer to win the game. Winning the game in fundraising takes a concerted effort to move on each touchpoint opportunity.


I hear a question already...wait Deanna what's a touchpoint? That's an excellent question to ask before we go any further, especially considering that not everyone knows all of the fundraising lingo out there. It's simple - it's a donor relationship. Touchpoints have been around for a while now and come up in various scenarios. It's every time you actively communicate with a donor.


Unfortunately, the traditional nonprofit touchpoint model is slowly eroding in effectiveness. Many development professionals create a calendar and it goes something like this...thank you letter, impact report, invite to the gala, thank you card for another donation, and end of year letter. And, this goes out to everyone. They use the same touchpoint calendar for all the donors. There's no customization, no segmentation, and nothing unique. A donor that's been giving for 10 years may have the same touchpoints as the donor who started contributing this year.


If this was football, you just fumbled!


To get ahead of the pack, you have to personalize those extra touchpoints. It starts by segmenting your donor list and creating meaningful touchpoints for those people. Sure everyone will get the impact report, but there's so much more you can do (and need to do) to make these points of contact meaningful.


I know you can't do this with all of your donors. So start with the major donors. You need to invest a little bit of time getting to know your major donors better. Know when and how they want to hear from you. Know what some would call the basics...the birthday, the kids, the college. Don't just sit on that information. A donor who gives you $100,000 might appreciate getting a special congrats when the company she owns is highlighted in the news or she gets married. Don't shy away from connecting on a personal level. When you do, you're adding those touchpoint movements that will get you closer to the fundraising goal.


If you need help building your million dollar (or more) fundraising program, let's chat. Email me at deanna@deannaackerman.com. There are some quick, simple solutions that will get you closer to the $1 million+ mark in 2021.

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