Individual donors: recruitment, retention & relationship development

What would fundraising be without donors? And what would SOFII be without a special area devoted to nurturing and developing donor relationships? Within this special space SOFII has selected and assembled a glittering array of specialist showcases in which we display a treasure trove of examples of the art and science of donor relationship development.

CHATS: the Norooz letter, in Farsi

CHATS people image

by SOFII

It’s an ancient truism of fundraising that if you want to communicate with donors you must speak to them in their language, not yours. Here’s a small example that paid off in practice.

Read more

St Michael’s Hospital Foundation: the 2010/11 annual report to donors

by SOFII

The St Michael’s Hospital Foundation view their hard-working and very appealing annual report as an opportunity to showcase the accomplishments of the past year and honour their generous donors. It shows them that their donations have been wisely spent and have made a real difference to the patients cared for at St. Michael’s.

Read more

Greater London Fund for the Blind: Christmas card and thank-you card tests

The Christmas card starts off sad and then become wonderfully uplifting and inspiring.

by SOFII

Some people were so pleased with their thank-you cards that they rang GLFB to say so. SOFII is sure that when the next batch of mailings land on their doormats the one from GLFB will spark off a fond memory and, therefore, picked up first.

Read more

Rhode Island Foundation: why less can be more with the annual report, particularly when it comes to legacies

by SOFII

To send or not to send? If you ask your donors if they want to receive your annual report, why do you think they don’t reply? It could be inertia, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’. Maybe they think they'll be saving you time and money, they’re nice, considerate people after all. By the same token intertia will stop them going to your website to view your report online – and you will never know. If you send a printed copy, you know they have it and might they not be more likely to look at it, if it’s there in their hands? The stories here from Tom Ahern and the Rhode Island Foundatio show the power of the printed word.

Read more

Send a Cow: thank-you drive

by SOFII

The team at Send a Cow are passionate about saying thank you to their supporters.

Read more

Culver Academies: by example campaign

by SOFII

It’s not often SOFII gets to showcase an alumni fundraising campaign and this one is an absolute cracker. This campaign managed to exceed their (already ambitious) target, not once but twice.

Read more

WaterAid’s plastic bag mailing

Six-year-old Matilda  struggles to carry her WaterAid mailing.

by SOFII

Every day in developing countries thousands of women (mainly) face the difficult task of fetching and carrying water from its source to their homes. It’s a gruelling daily duty most donors would find very hard to imagine. Could this concept be applied imaginatively to a fundraising appeal? Of course it could!

Read more

Why your charity (still) needs better thank-you letters

Click to read letter 1.

by Lisa Sargent

So you’ve heard that, thanks to Lee Saunders, SOFII will champion the renaissance of the charity thank-you letter. Renaissance, you say? A lofty word, that, for the humble thank-you letter. 

But if you aim to raise money for good causes, the thank-you letter is still among your mightiest tools.

Read more

The Obama effect

Obama and a blackboard

by Jonathon Grapsas

Six lessons from President Obama’s fundraising team to help fuel growth in your organisation.

Read more

The donor pyramid is dead… Long live the donor pyramid!

by SOFII

Sarah Clifton shares her thoughts and asks: What exactly is the purpose of the donor pyramid if not to map the upgrade journey to a major gift?

Read more