Ten ways to listen and learn

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1. Capture and date-stamp all pertinent contributor and prospect feedback. Sort feedback into categories that can then be used to facilitate strategies such as offers, contacts, messages and creative.

2. Encourage dialogue by motivating contributors to provide feedback.

3. Understand and record the intent or motivation of the contributor for giving.

4. Monitor the contributors' patterns of continued giving.

5. Understand who is giving the gift - compare the gift signature on the check to the contributor's name that appears on the reply form.

6. Spend at least 30 minutes daily coming up with ways to better listen to your givers.

7. Make sure your contributors understand all the various ways they can support the organization.

8. Monitor contributors' and prospects' giving patterns. Analyze why they migrate from a new contributor to one at risk to one that has lapsed.

9. Never take the contributor for granted. Always remember the primary reasons why people stop giving money to their favorite charity and consider these factors when developing a message strategy.

10. Remember that "one size doesn't fit all" - especially when it comes to messaging, contacts and testing.

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