7 Surprisingly Simple New Year’s Resolutions for Development Professionals 

7 Surprisingly Simple New Year’s Resolutions for Development Professionals 

How can you make 2022 the best year yet for your Development office? Here are seven ways to make that happen!

  1. Build Deeper Relationships. Fundraisers who care about their donors thoughts, feelings and experiences will always be more successful. When it’s time to talk with a donor, think through what you know about them. What experiences have they had? What is important to them? What do they fear? 

  2. Be a Great Listener.  Really listen to your donor. Focus on them completely when you call or interact to find out what you don’t already know about them. By giving them your attention, you reinforce that they are important to you and that they aren’t just another “ask.”

  3. Tell Your Story. We all love a good story. Some of us like to tell them even more than we love to hear them! Fundraisers should be good storytellers who can bring life to the mission statement. Rather than repeating your organization’s list of goals, tell donors a specific story that really represents the heart of your mission. Even better, have someone who has benefited from your services tell the story themselves.

  4. Inspire Them to Leave a Legacy. Donors want to make a difference, and they want that difference to be meaningful for a long time to come. Help them dream about how they can partner with you and other nonprofits through legacy giving. Don’t overload them with information—inspire them instead!

  5. Show How Thankful You Are. When you express gratitude for a gift, think about why that donor is giving in the first place. Tell them how much you appreciate their dedication to making the world a better place, but make that appreciation as specific as possible. With that genuine relationship (see #1!) at the center of your connection, donors will feel valued for themselves, not just their money.
  6. Take the Long View. Legacy giving is a long process; these decisions are complex and take time. Just as it took time and wisdom for the donor to build their legacy, it will take time and wisdom for them to decide how to share it. Talk to them about why they support your work, inspire them to leave a strong legacy, but recognize that it will likely be a life event or other circumstances outside of your control that push them to make those big decisions.

  7. Stay Informed! This may be the most important resolution. Find out who your donor is by analyzing the data available to you. How old are they? Are they married or single? Do they have children? How long have they been giving? Do they like to give a small amount every month or are they end-of-year givers? Use what you know to personalize your conversations and to determine your best prospects for legacy giving.  

It’s a new year, a chance to try new ways of doing things. Make 2022 the best year yet for your development initiatives. Canopy is here to help!