Strategies for Success

Qualification, Cultivation, and Appreciation

two women sitting at a table talking

The donor cycle is one that requires a friendly and open spirit with close attention to detail. Here are three tried-and-true strategies that, if executed correctly with the right prospects, will help you guide them to where they want to be with their giving. Take note and have fun.

Open-ended qualification questions for prospective donors

Begin by asking potential donors thoughtful, open-ended questions to understand their values, motivations, interests, etc. Inquire about their initial connection to your organization: What aspects resonate with them? How do they envision your mission making a difference? Would they like to become involved in any of the nonprofit’s upcoming events or activities?

Also remember, donors often have individuals who are part of their decision-making process. Broach this discussion early in your qualification process, as these insights will help guide your cultivation efforts and tailor your approach to each donor.

Thoughtful and intentional cultivation

Cultivate donor relationships, intentionally, by designing a strategy based on information you gleaned from your qualification time. Properly brief leadership and organizational partners who could play a crucial role in furthering the relationship. Invite donors inside the organization not only to learn, but to offer their insights and expertise. Regularly assess your unique donor strategies, and adapt where necessary. When it comes to expressing your gratitude in your stewardship plans, apply what you learned during cultivation.

Genuine, meaningful appreciation

Show genuine appreciation for donors through consistent engagement. Express gratitude promptly, maintain regular communication, and engage your donors in meaningful ways. By valuing their support, you can build lasting connections that will support your organization and those you serve.

Donors who feel heard, valued and appreciated tend to be more loyal and contribute to a stronger base for more sustained support; and using these strategies, you can help make this happen.

Kevin Williamson
P. Kevin Williamson

Senior Vice President

High Point, N.C.

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