This article was a great reminder that fundraising requires an intentional, systematic process of establishing and maintaining strong relationships with donors.  

What was not included however, was that in the new era of social media, both existing and new donors are just one click away from helping to fund your great cause. Crowdfunding is now at the epicenter of mainstream fundraising.  The traditional forms of fundraising certainly have not gone away.  But I suggest that the rule should also include another 5.  

Crowdfunding Goes 5/5/5/3

FundSpot is optimized to allow organizations to start and manage multiple simultaneous campaigns. Organizations should start at least 5 campaigns per year to promote their causes and events.  So by using the power and efficiency of working with multiple 'team members', social media and email, your organization's causes and events will be seen by literally thousands of new donor relationships. 

"Building great relationships is the essence of good fundraising.  Your job as a non-profit is to find as many people as you can who are passionate about your work, and then work hard to build strong relationships with them.  Donors need to feel like part of your team and know just how integral they are to your success.

Better donor relationships will lead to amazing results for your non-profit, including reduced donor attrition, larger gifts, and more referrals to new donors.  Here’s a simple, no-nonsense strategy for guaranteeing that you are building great relationships with your donors… I call it the “5/5/3 Rule.”

Make 5 Fundraising Phone Calls per Day

When it comes to raising more money, nothing can compete with in-person meetings and personal phone calls. E-mails, direct mail, newsletters and other mass communications have an important role to play in non-profit development, but having direct conversations with donors on a regular basis is what will have the most impact on your fundraising revenue.

The non-profits that have the most success with individual and major giving are those organizations that spend the most time building personal relationships with their donors and prospects. If you really want to supercharge your non-profit’s fundraising, make 5 calls per day, and ask everyone on your fundraising team to do the same.

Most of these calls will not (and should not) be “ask” calls. The vast majority of these calls will be cultivation calls… short calls to check in with donors and prospects, to give updates, to ask for advice, to connect donors with other donors who might be able to help them, etc. Thesecultivation calls are extremely important for building strong relationships with your donors and prospects.

Here’s another suggestion… once you have your fundraising team making 5 donor calls per day, ask your management team to do the same. Have the Executive Director, the Program Director, and any other appropriate managers making calls as well. If they can’t do 5 calls per day, ask them to do 5 per week (1 per day).  Donors love to hear what’s going on in the trenches, and they love to hear from “the boss.”

Hold 5 Out-of-the-Office Meetings Each Week

One of the surest ways to determine the strength of a fundraising program is to ask the question, “What percentage of the time are the fundraising team members out of the office vs. in the office?” If fundraisers aren’t out doing fundraising meetings, then they aren’t building the strong donor relationships that they should be.

To be the best fundraiser you can possibly be, start trying to arrange 5 out-of-the-office meetings each and every week.  Have everyone on the fundraising team do the same.

Remember that most of your fundraising meetings will not be “ask” meetings. Instead, you’ll be meeting with donors and prospects to cultivate them and move them towards the (eventual) ask or upgrade. While the ratio will vary at every non-profit, most successful fundraisers do 3-4 cultivation meetings for every 1 ask meeting.

Non-fundraising executives (like the Executive Director and Program Director) aren’t off the hook when it comes to meetings, either. Supporting the fundraising program is everybody’s responsibility. This means that non-fundraising executives at the non-profit also need to be out doing fundraising meetings, either on their own or with a member of the fundraising team.

Ask 3 Donors for Advice Each Week

Donors like to feel like they are part of your non-profit’s “team.” Being part of your team makes donors want to give more, to refer more people to your organization, and to get more actively involved in volunteer efforts for your cause.

Nothing makes donors feel like part of your team more than asking them for their advice and counsel.

Put a reminder in your calendar to call 3 different donors each week to ask them for their advice, even if you don’t need it. Remember – you don’t have to take their advice; you simply need to ask for it, listen to it, and thank your donors for their input. Then, it’s up to your and your team whether or not you want to follow that advice.

If you have a donor who works in advertising, call her to ask for some ideas on getting more exposure for your organization. If you have a donor who always attends your events, call him to ask for his thoughts on how to make your events more appealing. Call 3 donors for advice each week, and spend 10 minutes on the phone with each donor hearing them out. It will be 30 minutes well spent.

Implement the 5/5/3 Rule and Watch Your Fundraising Skyrocket

I have successfully used the 5/5/3 rule at non-profits large and small, both as a staff member and as a consultant, and it has always (100% of the time) led to positive results for the organization.  It may be a game changer for your non-profit (particularly if you are currently struggling with donor cultivation) or it could just help around the edges.  Either way, it will build better bonds between you and your donors, guaranteed.

Write Better Fundraising Letters, Get Better Results

Great fundraising letters can sometimes seem like magic.  Some mail appeals work, others don’t, and many non-profits aren’t really sure how to tell the difference, before they pay for postage and drop them in the mail.

If you’d like to learn how to write fundraising letters that are guaranteed to be a success, then join us for our next class here on The Fundraising Authority: How to Raise More Money through Direct Mail Fundraising.

During this 6 week multimedia class, you’ll learn everything you need to know to raise more money than ever before through direct mail, including:

  • How to write amazing and successful annual appeal letters
  • The secrets to direct mail prospecting
  • How to design winning fundraising reply cards, envelopes, and appeal packages
  • And much, much more!  Click here for a complete class syllabus

Remember, when you register today, you’ll get lifetime access to the class materials and you can have as many people from your non-profit participate as you would like, at no additional cost."



Our goal is to maximize your fundraising efforts utilizing the FundSpot platform and what you are currently doing including such efforts as the 5/5/5/3 rules.  FundSpot has been uniquely crafted and optimized from the ground up to help you get funded quickly and easily from leveraging social media and social sharing. 

FundSpot is the best fundraising system strategically optimized for large events, teams, groups, individuals and organizations such as Universities, Museums and Zoo's. The ability to set-up and manage multiple simultaneous fundraising campaigns with team members for each campaign under one "umbrella" is at the core of Fundspot. 

An example of this is a Museum fundraising for a large capital campaign of the course of three years.  Over the three years there will be many different fundraising events and that can all be managed by teams members utilizing the FundSpot platform. 

Turn learn more or get started click the button below