Penelope Burk: Get Those Board Members on the Phone

"I'm not into charming; I'm into results," says Penelope Burk. When leadership volunteers don't understand how influential they are, this can be a wasted opportunity for a nonprofit. Penelope did a test, where 1/10 of donors to a specific organization were thanked for their gift via board member phone call.

The test donors returned gifts 39% higher in value the first year. After two years, the value remained higher (42%), but more importantly -- retention rate in the test group was 70%, while attrition in the control group was over 80%. This is amazing, especially considering that the board phone call was not repeated in subsequent years.

Penelope points out that the ultimate gift is a bequest gift, and that without donor loyalty, this is impossible to achieve.

Click here to see all posts from Penelope Burk's talk. In addition to donor relations, she shared some fascinating information and ideas on talent management: why fundraisers leave, and what organizations can do to keep them.