For you app and social media junkies out there, there is a new social media platform out there that is 100% guaranteed to improve your major gift fundraising outcomes.We think it is the greatest social media platform for fundraising EVER. It is guaranteed to increase your fundraising revenue, and the best part is, it’s compatible with Macs, PCs, Androids, iPhones, and even flip phones.

It’s called InPerson, and here is how it works:

  1. Turn off your device (or at least put it on mute).
  2. Go meet a donor for coffee.
  3. Talk to them InPerson.

Doh. I know, you’re feeling robbed. But honest to goodness, meeting face-to-face with donors is the most powerful, effective fundraising method I have ever come across. It minimizes miscommunications, maximizes the relationship between your agency and the donor, and builds a loyal donor base that will set your nonprofit up for success.

Here are three reasons why InPerson works so well:

1. “You can’t milk a cow by sending it a letter. You have to pull up a stool and get to work.” — Si Seymour

Crude metaphor? Yes. True? Yes. Donors don’t want to feel like a checkbook. The more you treat them as a team member instead of currency, the more willing they’ll be to get involved in their nonprofit. Personal contact with donors can make all the difference.  Treat them as an insider, and they’ll participate as one.

2. “Donors don’t give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe.” — G.T. Smith

Just as meeting with a donor gives them more humanity, it gives you more humanity as well. Instead of an institution, you become “Dave” or “Molly.” Donors give to people they know, as well as missions they believe in. As my good friend and mentor Bob Pierpont frequently tells me, “It’s amazing what a well-timed joke and a warm handshake can do.”

3. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a gift and not giving it.” — Unknown

InPerson is the most effective way to thank a donor. One of our team members were telling me about a time when she gave to an international charity and a local charity in the same month. She got a standard “thanks” on her tax receipt from the international organization, but she got a call with a personal thanks from the executive director from the local one. Guess who she gives to more often?

So, how much does your fundraising team use InPerson? I have found that many of my clients are super busy managing their social media, direct mail, events, etc., and don’t have time to meet with donors InPerson. But I would counsel you to pull back on the other activities, and step up your InPerson efforts. Here’s an easy way to get started: take the next year and meet InPerson with your top twenty-five donors. If you want extra credit, see your top fifty. You’re guaranteed to see a return on your investment.

As far as social media goes, InPerson is not cutting edge. It’s been around for literally millennia. Yes, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have their strategic places and uses. But those platforms will never be able to eclipse the real relationship and fundraising impact that InPerson can and does have.


Thinking of testing InPerson with your major donors? Connect with Dickerson, Bakker & Associates today, and we’ll help you incorporate this platform into your fundraising. Contact us here.