Tips On How to Develop a Donor Base

Here are some tips to help you get started on developing a donor base- an essential ingredient to start increasing the donations that your community group needs to survive! These tips were created from notes we took at the CoCo event “Charting the Journey: Fundraising in Quebec”.

Tips on How to Develop a Strong Donor Base

  1. Collect names at events etc. You can use these for followup communication, statistics, and solicitation.
  2. Hold events for visibility, and to advance your mission. Make them reccurent for even better results.
  3.  Have a strategic plan that will allow you to have a clear vision, to prioritize donor outreach activities, and allow you to do aligned and targeted outreach.
  4. Strong and clear communication (emails, letters, bulletins etc). This helps you to attract and retain donors, and upgrade communication with existing ones.
  5. Research new donors through public information and through your personal networks
  6. Database to keep track of donors, that is kept updated, organized and accessible.
  7. Engage in Donor recognition. This can include things like naming categories, regular thank yous, plaques, tags, invitations, profiles of the donors, and cards (holidays and birthdays).
  8. Exchange/purchase lists of donors, such as direct mail and telemarketing lists.
  9. Collaborations with other organizations including on mailing lists, hiring consultants together to learn more about fundraising.
  10. Partnerships/Associations can help with visibility, information, capacity, and getting a broader reach.
  11. Solicit/“Friendraising”. This looks like personal phone calls, door to door, emails, facebook etc,  tabling.
  12. Website. Have a Canada helps link (for electronic gifts), keep it updated, have internal capacity to do website work.

Tipsheet-Donor Base – PDF