The Pentera Blog

After Donors Respond to Marketing, How Do You Follow Up?

A number of our clients have recently faced a wonderful "problem": The response to their Pentera marketing campaign was greater than anticipated, leading to questions and concerns about how to follow-up with those prospective donors.

"I am really happy with the number of responses," wrote one gift planning officer. "But I am a little concerned that my boss seems to think that more requests for information should translate into more gifts immediately. How do I explain that the process of cultivating these donor prospects usually takes time and finesse?"

Most of the responses received by these organizations were in the form of requests for follow-up materials to a newsletter, eNewsletter, postcard, or ePostcard. The follow-up piece is typically a guide booklet that explains more about the charitable gift or the charitable planning topic that was presented in the marketing campaign. A reader who requests a follow-up piece is "highly engaged" with your organization.

Here are some cultivation tips (and explanations for the bosses with too-high expectations):

  • Sending a follow-up guide booklet is a "soft touch" with this highly engaged prospect. You are most likely not going to move to the "Ask" right away.
  • A couple of weeks after sending the guides, you might call the donor prospects to ensure that they received it..
    • If they have already read the guide, you can ask what they thought or if they have questions.
    • If they have not had a chance to read it, suggest that you talk on the phone again in a few weeks.

Here are additional touches you can do with these highly engaged prospects:

  • Reach out for a meeting. When you are planning your donor visits, consult your list of highly engaged prospects to set up visits.
  • Invite them to one of your organization's events. If your organization has reunions and it is a reunion year for them, send personal invitations.
  • Do personal follow-up after events attended by these prospects.
  • Send a personal note with a mailing about your legacy society.
  • Communicate personally about new happenings at your organization.