How Do You Create a Donor List?

When it comes to fundraising, having a good donor list is essential. A donor list is basically a data file containing the names and contact information of individuals who have made financial contributions to your organization. 

You need to keep a donor list so you can cultivate future donations and keep donors updated on the organization’s activities and achievements. So, what goes into creating a donor list? Here are some steps to help you build one.

5 Steps to Create a Donor List 

Start Small 

Of course, your organization is probably dreaming of a long list of donors you can tap for future campaigns and projects. Sure, 150-200 sounds like an ideal donor base. But it’s also too many, which will overwhelm you and prevent you from getting things done. 

When starting out, we recommend that you first focus on a small number of donors. Start with a small list of 5-10 people. This is a much more manageable number, allowing you to set actionable goals and slowly work towards achieving them. You can always expand your list and add more names later on. 

List Your Biggest Donors 

Now comes the question of who those 5-10 donors should be. Most organizations’ first instinct would be to list the most wealthy and influential people in their district. While they do have the money to spare, you will benefit more from having donors who share your goals and are dedicated to your cause. 

This will ensure you have connections with the most passionate people who will, more likely than not, make donations to your organization yearly. They are also more motivated prospects who won’t think twice about supporting a cause they believe in. 

Write Down Your Goals 

Now that you’ve finalized your list of donors, it’s time to get down to the real business — goal-setting. For each donor on your list, write down how much you’re looking to solicit from them and for what purpose. Then, brainstorm strategies that you can take to achieve these goals. 

Having everything written down will help you get a better idea of where you are at with these donors and what you need to do next to motivate and retain them

Schedule Your Next Steps 

What’s a goal without concrete steps to get it done, right? It’s time to schedule your next move. Whether that means setting a date to talk to each donor, outlining each phase of your fundraising campaign in your to-do list, or arranging for your donors’ names to be included in a recognition wall, plot exactly when you plan to get things done. 

Build Relationships With Your Donors 

Amid your strategies to reach your organizational goals and your detailed descriptions of how your donors fit into them should be a strong motivation to forge a relationship with your donors. The most successful fundraising campaigns are built upon trust and a genuine bond. 

Make sure that a part of your strategy is targeted at spending time thanking your donors, making them feel valued, and building authentic and lasting relationships with them. Building a custom design donor recognition wall could serve this purpose wonderfully.

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