Leadership Insights From Around North America


Industry thought leaders share advice and look to the future of health care philanthropy.

Fall 2017 Issue

Timing the Ask for Hospital Development
by Bonnie Jess Lopane, CFRE, Vice President, Development & Community Relations, Hospice & Community Care, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Getting a donor to make a second gift requires that the donor feels some connection with your organization. The second gift from a donor often determines whether he or she will become a regular donor to your organization. Research (Fundraising Effectiveness Project 2016 Survey, Association of Fundraising Professionals), shows that only 19% of new donors to charitable organizations make a second gift; however, after a donor makes a second gift to an organization, the likelihood of the donor continuing to support the organization significantly increases to more than 60%. Simple techniques, a personalized approach and good donor communications will build solid relationships with donors who feel engaged and part of your organization.

How to Say Thank You

- Send thank you letters within 24 to 48 hours of receiving a gift. 
- Content must be specific and relevant to the donor’s experience.  
- Include the name of the person being remembered in addition to an acknowledgement of the person’s loss.  
- Make it more about the donor than the organization.
- Set your organization apart with a handwritten signature and a brief note.

5 More Ways to Steward

1. Make personal phone calls to donors who make a gift of $100 or more.
2. Engage donors with newsletters and email blasts about programs and activities and a social media presence.
3. List memorial donors and the deceased person’s name in quarterly publications and the organization’s annual report.
4. Send a card in remembrance of the donor’s loved one at the anniversary of the death. 
5. Host donor cultivation events such as a luncheon featuring an informative speaker presenting about an interesting topic.
6. Create giving clubs or circles encourage donors and list donors, with their permission, in the organization’s annual report.  

Want to see more content like this? Read the 2017 fall issue of Healthcare Philanthropy.