Time Management For Fundraisers: A 5-Day Framework

Do your weeks feel out of control?

Fundraisers are busy, especially at year-end. How can you keep on top of your priorities, get things done, and continue to build relationships with your supporters? Check out this session from Patrick Kirby of Do Good Better Consulting to learn a 5-Day framework you can use every week to keep the chaos at bay.

Watch the Full Recording Here

Top Takeaways

  • Mondays are for planning, Tuesdays are for doing, Wednesdays are for documenting, Thursdays are for celebrating, Fridays are for appreciating. Spend a dedicated period of time each day on that day’s “theme.”
  • Prepare for your year-end campaign by sending appreciation messages to your “last year but not this year” list (aka LYBUNTs).
  • Celebrate your wins with your board, staff, and community


Megan Donahue:

Hello everybody and welcome to The Responsive Weekly. I’m Megan Donahue from Virtuous, and I’m so glad you’re here. Joining me is Patrick Kirby from Do Good Better Consulting. Hey Patrick.

Patrick Kirby:

Hi friends. How are you doing?

Megan Donahue:

Very excited about today’s topic, a practical guide to staying sane while doing good, especially relevant this time of year. So we’ll talk about this. Here are some of the things we’ll talk about. You all can read that.

  • How to think differently about organizing your time at work. 
  • Tricks to planning the highest priority meetings.
  • Doing rather than waiting until perfection, documenting important donor information, the importance of celebrating with your supporters.
  •  Reminders on how appreciation is key to donor retention. 

All in 30 minutes. But first of all, Patrick, tell us about you.

Patrick Kirby: 

Hi friends. so my name is Patrick Kirby. I’m the founder of Do Good Better. We’re a consulting firm here in Fargo, North Dakota. And I help nonprofits suck less at fundraising. And I mean that in the nicest possible way because listen, we’re all accidental fundraisers. Like none of us went to college or went to like out of high school and said, “You know, what I want do is ask people for money. Like nobody’s ever said that in the entire world, ever. So I have been spending nearly 20 years in the nonprofit industry. I’ve worked at everything from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to the Ann Carlson Center, which is this wonderful school and wonderful facility for individuals with developmental disabilities and delays. And that gives you the best perspective in the entire world. And I’ve worked in everything from the executive level down onto the boots on the ground thing. So that’s what I do on a fairly regular basis. And I host the official Do Good Better podcast. And I wrote a book called Fundraise Awesomer, and I like read The Hobbit and Game of Thrones. And that’s my inspiration for fundraising. And if you ever wanted to ask questions on that, I would totally accept that challenge.

Megan Donahue:

I think we could get a panel together of people who want do that. Yes. We’ll call it the Fellowship of the Fundraisers and it will be a whole podcast. New idea.

Patrick Kirby:

Done. Sold. Let’s go.

Megan Donahue:

That’s good. You saw it here first folks. Yep.

All right. So just kicking off, I think this is a time– I asked the question. I did not have the chat but I asked the question on a scale of one to five, thinking cool as a cucumber to hair on fire. How are people feeling right now about their energy, their time, their ability, as year-end fundraising picks up? I know like at this time of year when fundraising, I feel like I was usually at a– “I see it coming, but it’s not quite here yet.” So you have some tips for fundraising year-round to make things less stressful. And as you say, suck less. Where should we start?

Patrick Kirby:

Let’s start here. So here’s the thing. I’m also very excited to talk to everybody here. Number two, if you like this meme, we can be best friends if you get this, you know, very good news. Number two, I feel like everybody should be in this more excited than anything about end-of-year because really this is the best time to get in front of people or talk about your story because people are beginning to think about generosity. So get excited about this kind of stuff out of the gate. The other thing is how on earth do you do these things? Having the 10,000 different things you have to do every day? And I’d love to hear everybody in the chat say, Listen, do you do 10,000 other things every day? And how often do you spend it on donor relationships and making asks?

Probably not as much as you should. But I got a tip and a trick for you. The thing that I’ve been talking a lot about is abundance mindset out of the gate. And I know it’s a little bit of woo-woo, but bear with me for a second because it bears repeating. Is that you, three things: Number one, your organization matters. Your organization matters in your community. And it doesn’t matter if everybody else is raising a whole bunch of money and you’re like, “Oh, I want to raise more money. Your organization matters, number one. Number two, you’ve got to believe that. I’ve seen a lot of organizations and a lot of individuals go, you know, “I think other people deserve some money too.” Yep, They do. And you do as well. So your organization matters. You deserve money and there’s money out there, there’s a ton of money out there.

There’s more money than you’ll ever be able to capture or get in, that is a thing. So it matters. You deserve money and there’s money out there. You get that through your brain and you’re in a good head space for the end of the year. And I think that’s going to be a-okay. But again, how do you decide what to do when you’ve got actual fundraising to do and other duties as assigned? Which one do you pick? And it’s really easy to cross off the list of things that you have to do, right? That’s easy to like go, “Hey, I made that list.” Cross it off your list. Right? You can it’s easy to do. It’s very difficult to pick up the phone and kind of do all those things. So I got a presentation for you, if you’d like to see it, on ways that you can organize your life in a way that makes sense, right?

I wrote a book about it because this is the reason why I think a lot of organizations don’t move the needle forward is because they think they have no idea what the heck you’re doing. And trust me, everybody goes to this every single year at the same time, et cetera. I’ve made a framework for your fundraising. Yeah. It’s creatively called the Five Day Fundraising Framework because it involves every five days. I’m not a marketer, I’m a fundraising guy, so I would hopefully do it. So here’s the bit. If you’re an organization, if you’re a non-profit, you’ve got to figure out what you want to do. Here’s the framework. It’s one thing a day, every day of the week, carving out 20 minutes to make your fundraising life easier. Ready? Is everybody ready in the chat? Are you ready to hear and see this thing to make your life easier?

Okay, we’re going to go for it. Yes. Yes. Yes, we are ready. Mondays are for planning, Tuesdays are for doing, Wednesdays are for documenting, Thursdays are for celebrating, and Fridays are for appreciating. You do one thing a day for 20 minutes a day, 40 minutes, two hours, whatever you want to do. This is the organization that you can get through your brain to maximize the amount of time you spend with donors. 

Why planning on Mondays is because you want to make sure that you’ve got all hell’s going to break loose. You know this, right? What are the one or two things that you need to get done, no matter what plan for that? 

Tuesdays are the most productive day of the week. I can’t scientifically prove this, but I know it’s true because it happens in our office and it happens in nonprofits across the world. Everybody else that you’re trying to get ahold of has already cleaned out their inbox and their email and they’re ready to talk with you. So go make a donor ask, do the things, and then once you meet with all these incredible individuals that you have been working so diligently to get in front of, you got all this information lodged in your brain and you got to get it out.

I wonder if there was only a donor system that you could have to put all of that information into this, right? Get it out of your brain and into a CRM system at a minimum. Get it out of your brain and onto paper. 

And then as nonprofit organizations, we are terrible at this celebrating wins because we think it’s bragging, it’s not. We want to celebrate with our donors because they want to know the impact of the donations that they made. They want to see it go over there, right? And then we want to spend time every week saying thank you.

And not just for gifts. We say thank you for just being a part of our organization, being part of the community, being part of making your non-profit organization better. We want to randomly thank people throughout the year. Because if you just thank them for gifts, great, you have to. But what if you became the nonprofit organization that thanked people throughout the year? What if you called them for no reason other than saying thank you? Well then of course they’re going to pick up the phone because you made them feel great. And by the end of the day, right at the end of the week, you’ve written your thank you notes, you’ve done your thank you calls, you’ve done your stuff. 

And then on Monday when you’re trying to plan to meet those individuals, the last thing they remember is a thank you call. And that right there is your framework.

I’d be happy to go through each one of these days and give examples if people would like that. 

Megan Donahue:

I think they probably would. 

Patrick Kirby:

I love it. Does this make sense for everybody in the chat? Does this make sense for you? Planning, doing, documenting, celebrating, and appreciating? And if you can carve that out, does this help you work through your week, Right Dawn? I’m going to keep going. Of course I am. Let’s go. Okay. Yes. All right. So here we go. I’m going to go through each one of the days. We’re going to give a couple of examples and then we’re going to talk about it. Okay? So planning is really key. And again, what you’re trying to do on the planning process is involve as many people as possible, be as transparent as to where you’re going, what you’re doing, who you’re meeting with, and what you’re going to ask. Okay?

That’s what you’re going to try to do on a Monday. I’ve got a couple of examples. You do standup meetings, material prep, donor meetings, event logistics, anything that you can do to prepare for all heck to break loose because you know it is, okay? So set up your meetings, make a call, put follow up with the email that you said you were going to do. Whatever that case may be. Do that, okay? Make sure that you have all the meetings that you’ve planned for the week and just lay out all the material that you have right on your desk so you can just grab and go. Go to a coffee et cetera, et cetera, if you want to plan and confirm your donor meetings. That’s an easy one to do because you don’t want to be an hour or 15 minutes before you meet with somebody and they say, “Oh, I can’t make it right.”

It’s an easy touch point to call a donor and say, “Hey, I’m really excited to meet with you. I’m really excited to talk about this. Hey, I hope you’re feeling great. Hey, I hope you’re having a great week.” It’s not an ask, you get to have a touchpoint, it’s awesome. But again, figure out which is your priority. What is the priority that you have at the end of the week that you have to get done? Is it a donor meeting? Is it a donor? Ask? Is it the solicitation?  What is that thing? And plan your entire week around that. So no matter what happens, at least at the end of the week, you go, nailed it. Mondays are for planning. Makes sense? Everybody in the chat, if anything, planning on Mondays good because Tuesdays are for doing. Now this involves a really easy, like again–if you have a meeting on a Thursday, you don’t necessarily have to just move it to a Tuesday.

That’s not what this is. It’s a framework to kind of wrap your brain around where you need to have all this information, right? But Tuesdays are for doing and we execute on Tuesdays because you’ve already done the planning, you’ve already set up your meetings, you’ve already done all the things that you want to do, done. You go to visits, you make asks, you make sponsor solicitations. Anything that you can do to move the needle forward for your organizations you do on a Tuesday and why people are ready by Monday afternoon, we’re already waiting for Friday to happen anyway, right? The same thing happens in the corporate world. Same thing happens in real life. Like we’re just, “oh God, it’s just going to be a long week.”  They’ll be excited to meet with you. It’s totally fine. But get all the asks out of your system right away on a Tuesday because, and this is where our Virtuous friends are going to step into is because, and this is my favorite meme and it’s election season next week, and you don’t have to worry about it, but Bernie Sanders the heck out of this thing.

You got some money, it’s great. Right? The reason that we do all of this work is because we want to learn more about our donors. And where do you put it? You put it in a documentation system, you put it in your CRM, you get it jotted down on paper immediately so that you remember all these amazing conversations that you had. I’ll give you an example.

So let’s just say you meet with a donor, right? Older gentleman, maybe you’ve been trying to get ahold of them for a while and they say, “Hey, I’m sorry, I just got back from vacation, right? Oh great, how was your trip?” And the individual says, “Hey, it’s exhausting. I’ve been you know, it’s just been a long time. I know we shouldn’t probably do this, but every year we bring the kids and the grandkids down to Disney World for a week. And I love it and it’s exhausting and it’s amazing. But I’m glad to be home even though I had a great time. It’s the best thing we do every year.” 

What did we just learn about that person? We love family. They love kids. They have an incredible amount of money because if you ever seen what it takes to get one person down to Disney World, they took the entire family and grandkids, Holy crap, they got money to burn. Let’s go. And so now if you’ve got a program that has something to do with family or kids or travel or whatever the case may be, you know that that person is probably ripe for the conversation you want to have with them about what you’re doing for your community and get it in the system. So we get everything out of our brain on a Wednesday, which is what what we had as a conversation from previous things.

What are our analytics and what’s the next step for each donor? Really what you want to do is if they say, “Hey, I’m coming back from travel or I just got a new job,” you want to do donor analytics and you want to see where in the world they’re connected to other than themselves. So what, where do they work? And who else is donating from that same organization or that same business within your community? You’d know that if you put it in your dang CRM system, which I would conveniently suggest that you go to Virtuous and go and get yourself a demo. Because if you have the data, you have the power. And that is really, really, really important. And really, really, can I say this a lot? We don’t celebrate it enough and we should. And the reason we celebrate is not to brag, but it’s to remind ourselves of the amazing work that we do.

How many of you take the time every week to celebrate with your own staff and board members and community? Anybody? You don’t need to drink all of this, but you probably should a lot. And the reason we celebrate is because donors want to be part of a winning team. They want to know what you’re doing. They don’t want to throw bad money at organizations that aren’t doing the things that they thought they were supporting in the first place. You’ve go to remind them, they don’t think about this as much as you do. They don’t wake up every day and go, “Hey, oh, what is my organization that I donated 25 or a hundred bucks to last week doing? They don’t think about that. They don’t. I know, they should, but they don’t. You need to remind them all the time. So celebrating with donors and businesses and board members, my God, if you don’t celebrate with your board members, they’re going to go, “What are you doing?”

Well, tell them, tell them what you’re doing and celebrate wins and say, “Hey, your leadership helped us accomplish X, Y, and Z. Thank you so much. Who else do you know that we can share this news with?” And they’re going to be excited because you gave them the roadmap on how to celebrate with their friends that they probably solicited to show up at the events that you put on. Because that is how this works, right? By the way, did you know that you can celebrate with other organizations? I love it. You can actually celebrate other organizations’ wins and nobody’s going to tell you that you got in trouble for that helpful hint. “Hey, you did a great job, so-and-so organization, kudos on your fundraising success! I wish I could have been there. I wish I could have supported you. Kudos. Congratulations on what you’re doing.”

Great. That’s weird. You can totally do that. The reason we celebrate is because we want to be the cheerleaders in our community. And we want to be known as the cheerleaders in the community. And it takes nothing more than a Facebook post or a quick phone call or a reminder to your staff and volunteers on the amazing good that you do. Because if we go back to the beginning of this and that you’ve got this wonderful sort of abundance mindset you want to tell and shout it out to the world. Because the more people who hear about all the awesome things you do, the more people who would be curious on how they can help and associate. And we always end every week with gratitude. Say this out loud, by the way, in your best Sean Connery voice, if you know who Sean Connery “thanks shallot.” This is a great meme.

And Fridays are for appreciating. If you take nothing away from this 12 and a half minutes of rapid-fire ways on way you can sort of organize your life, is send spend time on Fridays writing handwritten thank you notes. If you write five of them a week, I’m bad at math. It’s a crapload of thank you notes out into the ether that you have done. Do not just send thank you notes for gifts. Do not just pick up a call and say thank you after they make a gift. If the only time that you pick up the phone and ask people to talk or chat or have a conversation is because they gave you something, you’re doing it wrong. I have a brother-in-law, by the way, who only calls me when he needs something to the point where now I can pick up the phone and go, “What do you want?”

You go, “Oh no, I don’t want anything.” I’m like, “Yeah, you do.” And then small talk for like two minutes and they ask me for something. I go, “I knew it, I knew it, Scott.” Right? Don’t be Scott. Don’t be that person. Be the person who randomly shows gratitude throughout the year about your support itself. Send them a note eight weeks after they gave just, “Hey, I want to thank you just for supporting us, or opening up or reading our emails, or giving us feedback on whatever the case may be. Just thank them, thank them for being in your circle. It’s going to unbelievably gain you the popularity that you deserve, because you’re building relationships. You’re not having this transactional attitude.

It’s about more than just the gift, right? And by the way, try this. Random acts of appreciation. Okay? So here’s the deal. Send a text message to random human beings. You just go, “Hey, I love the fact that you showed up at our event and just wanted to show I appreciate you.” Okay, great. What’s that? Do now they expect it or it’s unexpected? Now they’re like,” Whoa, what’s that?” And the next time you call, they’re like, “Oh, what are you going to say to me?” It’s a great way to end your week. And if you can do this right, if you can make appreciation your best friend, all of a sudden people are going to want to be attracted to you because like, “Hey, I can’t help but want to talk with you because you make me feel great.” And fundraising is nothing but that.

Fundraising is nothing but you matching your donors with a program or something that they give to that makes them feel great. This is not about your need to have. It’s about the donors’ need to give. And if you start with gratitude and you end with gratitude, you always have that. By the way, pick up the damn phone. These supercomputers in our pocket are fun to have Twitter and TikTok on. But they also make a really useful tool to pick up the phone. And no amount of fundraising behind your desk is going to match the enthusiasm that you can have talking to your donors on the phone or in person. And if you can’t do in person, do it on the phone. Okay. That sounds good. So here’s the wrap-up because I want to have Q &A, right? These are the things that we want to have.

I want to answer all of your particular questions here. It is:

Mondays are for planning

Tuesdays are for doing

Wednesdays are for documenting

Thursdays are for celebrating

Fridays are for appreciating

And if you do this, if you have this framework, if you have this idea that you can, I don’t know, manage the million things that you have to do, but still carve out time to move the needle forward for your donors, you’re going to be a better, more effective fundraiser. Planning, doing, documenting, celebrating, and appreciating. And if you do just like 20 minutes a day, 40 minutes a day, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to do nine hours, just do a little bit at a time until you get used to the cadence of how your job works so that you can concentrate on being a better fundraising relationship-building machine. 

I’m here for questions. Does that make sense? Everybody in the chat? Does that make sense? Do you like this framework? Does this make sense to you? Can you use this on a fairly regular basis? And if you’ve got any questions, I’m in the chat here and we’ll answer them in real-time.

Megan Donahue:

Absolutely. Thank you so much, Patrick. That was a whirlwind of great information. Yes. And I think you make such a good point. As we’re waiting for questions to come in, I’ll just pontificate. I think it’s such a good point of having that structure or that plan, because otherwise you’re going to just go to whatever’s the biggest fire or whoever has the loudest voice. And then your whole week gets away from you and you think, “Why don’t I ever have time to do thank you notes?”

Patrick Kirby:

I know, I know. And that’s the other thing too. This is to work within your own schedule. So, but here’s the other thing too. If you take a couple of days off, you’re sick and you don’t know where to start. I mean, that’s a lot of the questions that we answer every day when people call or reach out to us is, “I don’t know what to do first. I’m frustrated, I have no solution to X, Y, and Z. What do we do first?” Well, what day is it? It’s Thursday. Okay. Simplicity is call somebody up and celebrate a win. Or talk about the impact that that person made. That’s it. So start there. The other thing that this works for is your marketing team, right? Give them the framework to work on the communication, right?

So post about what you’re planning to do in the future for your organization. Talk about on Tuesday what you’re doing to make your community better. Talk about what you’ve documented as success, and then talk about on Thursdays who you’re celebrating and why you’re celebrating that. And then put your thank you posts on Friday, right? So this not only matches your fundraising bit, right? Do planning, doing, documenting, celebrating and appreciating. In fact, I think we have a link to a downloadable that’ll give you a planning calendar that you get to follow along, download it, use it just put it right by your computer and check off your actual to-do lists. Because I think this is really helpful in a lot of ways for you to just roadmap your brain about like, “Hey, at the end of the week, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.”

And it’s really frustrating because fundraising has no end game. There’s always another donor to call. There’s always another event to have. There’s always another budget to go and make sure, right? So this gives you some sort of closure on a week well done that we as fundraisers deserve, but rarely get. This allows you to think a little bit more clearly and strategically about how you can feel that way. Because it means a lot that you need to have your burnout reduced and this will help you sort of manage some of those things. 

Megan Donahue:

Absolutely. I’m pulling up that link for you which I’ll drop it in the chat here. Yeah. We also have a request for your slides if you’re willing. We can send them out afterwards. What I really like about this framework is I feel like for me, when I’m in the thick of it and there are so many things that need to be done, I’m going to go to the one–if I don’t have a structure, I’m going to go to the ones that I feel most competent at, and all the other things that maybe are more uncomfortable or I feel trepidation about are always going to kind wind their way down to the bottom of the list. So if I feel weird about calling donors on the phone and I don’t have a plan for when I’m going to do that, suddenly it’ll just be like, “Hmm, all I ever did was update the CRM.”

Patrick Kirby:

Sure did. And then they stay at the bottom of your list, or then we’ll go to the top of the list, and then you’ve kind of squeezed it to do right above that list. Right. I’ve done that. That’s my weasel around getting things done. It’s like, “Well I’ll just put this at like 0.5 instead of number one.” Right. And they’ll put that at the top of the list. Write an email or I don’t know what that is. Whatever it is. Yeah. Part of this too is understanding that this framework gets you out of just a transactional sort of mindset as well. The pace by which you make this framework work for you is that this is a long game and a long plan to develop relationships. You’re planning on meeting somebody, you might not make a monetary ask, but it might be, “Hey, can I meet with you again?” Or “Do you know anybody else who might be as dedicated to the causes you are?” That might be your “do.” And then you go back and you document that, right? You put that into your Virtuous CRM, you put that in there and then all of a sudden you’ve got that data sitting there so that the next time you talk with that donor you remember what the heck you talked about in the first place.

So you have these little things that allow you to grow a relationship with donors rather than just go through the motions of “Oh, I’ve got to meet with somebody, mark it off my benchmarks for the week.” And that’s not how you should do fundraising. And this should be exciting and this gives you at least something to look forward to every Monday rather than have those Sunday scaries, which I know you all do, right? You wake up on Sunday and noon comes around, you’re like, “Oh God, Monday’s going to come and I don’t know what I’m going to have done.” You’ve already carved out time in the morning to get your planning done so you can look forward to it rather than be chaotically scrambling. Nobody wants that as well.

Megan Donahue:

Absolutely. I think that documentation piece is so important too. Not just for you, but if you think about across the organization, because as you were saying Patrick, there’s this transactional thing and nothing feels more transactional I think, than a donor having to have the same introductory conversation with three major gift officers in a year and a half, or something like that. So when you can document it so that people can pick up where you left off, if you’re transferring someone somewhere else, if there’s– we’ve got to be real about the turnover and the profession as well. Right? Having that documentation there doesn’t just help you remember. It also preserves the donor relationship beyond you.

Patrick Kirby:

We know this as fundraisers, where we are planting seeds we’ll never see grow, right? You’re going to have conversations with a 30-something that is not maybe going to give a bequest until they pass away 40 years down the line. 

I’ll tell you a really quick story. When I was a chief development officer at one of my former gigs, we got a gift from a gentleman at the end of the year. It was a bequest gift. They were finishing sort of the estate plan, and the gift that we had documented was a $6 gift back in 1984.

Megan Donahue:


Patrick Kirby:

So that was the only time. That was the only bit of documentation we had. Well he ended up passing away and giving us $300,000. Wow. And what drives me nuts to this day is if I only knew anything about that person, to have a conversation with him leading up to his passing that might have triggered a larger gift or to show our appreciation for what we didn’t even know he loved about our organization. That drives me insane to this day. And imagine in your donor database who’s in that system. That might be great.

What are some favorite examples [of random appreciation]? Oh, I love it. Okay. So the text message is a random one. I love the random–if you think about something in the ether of the day, right? Some news article, something, some clipping that reminds you of a donor, immediately send them a note.

Don’t wait on it. Don’t sit on it. Because it’ll sit there in a post-it note and you’re like, “What the heck is this for?” So random thoughts that you have of donors that they might appreciate or that you know of something is a really good random act of appreciation. This doesn’t have to cost you anything. A random call, a random text message, a random email, a random Facebook post, whatever the case may be. Don’t plan on it, just in the moment. Do it. And don’t get too worried about how that’s going to sound, or feel, or don’t spend too much time on it crafting whatever that message is going to sound like because that sounds too robotic. Be very authentically you and just authentically reaching out to people. I hope that helps.

Megan Donahue:

Yeah. A thing that I think is just fantastic is when you make those random appreciation calls, there’s a moment where it shifts. Where the donor picking up the phone is like, “Hey, person from nonprofit, okay?” And they’re waiting for you to ask them for money. And once they realize that you’re not going to (sometimes I would also say “I’m not calling to ask you for money.”) And they’d be like, “Really?” Yeah. “I’m just calling because we’re really excited about what we’re able to do with the donation you gave and I just wanted to check in and say thanks.”

Patrick Kirby:

You know, the other thing I really like is this appreciation circle.  So if you send a thank you note randomly, right? And then they will call you and then they will say thank you for the thank you note. Then, then you get to thank them for calling you and additional thank yous. And then they’ll call you back to say, “Hey, thank you for that.” “No, thank you for that.” You can’t get out of this matrix loop of gratitude and that’s the absolute best. And people will send you thank you notes for thank you notes, then you get that and you’re like, “What on earth do I do with this? I don’t even know where to store this weird, bizarre multiverse wave that I’m in.” And it’s just the best, because you make them feel good, they make you feel good and it’s just this partnering crime to do awesome things together. And it’s amazing.

Megan Donahue:

Yeah. That’s what we mean by relationship building I think. Real actual authentic relationships

Patrick Kirby:


Megan Donahue:

Well, Patrick, this has been so useful. Any closing advice for people in the next two months?

Patrick Kirby:

Take a deep breath. It’s going to be fine. It’s going to be okay. 

The two things that you should be reminded of and, and everybody in your Virtuous team is going to help you with this is go to your “last year but not this year” list. Go back to see who you have not thanked yet and thank them before you make an ask. Do not do the thing where you just ask somebody in perpetuity. It’s the only time you get a hold of them. Right now through Thanksgiving is a great time to just say be grateful, so that if your end-of-year appeal hits, the last thing they remember is a thank you note, not a “please give me money.” So you’ve got a window, got to do it now. But you’ve got a window of where you can go and be grateful to those who have not given to you yet, but traditionally do. And again, go into your CRM system and whatever it may be, the but not this year list. I bet you have one. I bet you have one on standby. Go and do that and then go and make your thank you call blitzes and gratitude and impact updates. Don’t worry about thanking them. Give them impact updates and then don’t even associate their number, but “Hey, you helped us do X, Y, and Z.” Have them understand that their money has gone very far and done really good with the money that they donated.

Megan Donahue:

Wonderful. Well, thank you so much Patrick. If people want to get a hold of you, what’s the best way?

Patrick Kirby. is a really good resource, because we’ve got all of our stuff there, and a blog, and a podcast, and all those kind of things.

What you should do now

Below are three ways we can help you begin your journey to building more personalized fundraising with responsive technology.

Take a self-guided tour of Virtuous, where you can explore the platform at your own pace and see if Virtuous is right for you. 

Download our free Responsive Maturity Model and learn the 5 steps to more personalized donor experiences.

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Chief Information Officer