The Legacy Approach

Philip Manzano • Apr 09, 2018

What is the Legacy Approach?

At Fawkes + Holly , we work with a lot of small nonprofits. Typically they’re Founder-run and, while there’s a lot of great impromptu donor stewardship and recognition going on, most of the donor information is locked away in the Founder’s brain or littered across a number of Excel spreadsheets.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re so into it. We love the relationships that have formed, the donations that have come in and the stewardship that has already occurred – we adore it all and have a deep respect for the effort that has gone into keeping track of everything.

As your charity grows and matures, it’s essential that your donor information is kept up-to-date and is somewhere that your team can access it.

And we don’t just mean giving history (though that’s a good place to start). Complete donor information includes things like:

•  Basic contact information

•  The preferred name the donor likes to be called (Ex: Arthur may prefer to be called Art)

•  Family information like a spouse’s name or children’s names

•  Relationship to the organization and to other donors (Ex: is this your Executive Director’s mom? You should know that!)

•  Organization events the donor has attended

•  The donor’s primary/preferred contact at the organization

The Legacy Approach is a reflection of all of this information – it is ensuring that an up-to-date and complete, easily-accessible repository of donor information exists that any of the team members who could talk to donors can access.

Look at it this way – if the person who holds all of your donor information in their head all of a sudden wasn’t able to come to the office one day – would you be able to cultivate, steward and communicate with your donors effectively? From the donor’s perspective, would their transition from one team member to another be seamless?

Over the past few months, we’ve been talking about donor attrition and the impact of quality stewardship on that. However, if you don’t have a simple, strong donor management system, how can you keep track of when you need to send out that next set of impact reports or who you need to approach this year to renew their gift?

You see where this is going, right?

Tools like Keela are essential for tracking the information that, when used well, can transform your donors’ experience and consequently your organization.

Whether it’s recording personalized information about a single donor that you want to remember the next time you chat with them, logging a reminder to follow-up with a whole group of donors, or pulling a report in one minute to find out who gave last year but hasn’t yet given this year, Keela has you covered.

It’s not a shameless plug. It’s a real, bold, up front recommendation built on (too many) hours of using Keela on behalf of a number of our clients.

Why do we recommend it?

Because to build a strong fundraising program that’s going to stand the test of time, you need to keep your information clean. Tools like Keela enable you to do that easily and intuitively – they give you the extra power you need to do good better.