Do you have half an hour to spare? Five minutes? With the ongoing needs and goals of one’s development department, it’s easy to forget about the simple ways in which we can take a moment or two to appreciate your supporters. According to Bloomerang, there are various reasons that supporters will stop giving. In many cases, this is due to some thinking other organizations are more deserving, never receiving a thank you, or thinking the charity had poor communication. If you have just a few moments to spare in your day, there are a couple (very simple) ways to support your donor relationships – and show them their impact and how much you appreciate them.
- Pick up the phone.
- Connects them to your organization.
- No need to strategize beforehand, or even ask for money.
- Simply have a conversation – thank them, let them know how donor dollars are being used, tell them a story about good happening in your organization, or give them a heads up on any upcoming events (and extend a personal invitation).
- Donors are people too – and checking up on them, especially in a time when we are still virtual/distant from each other, is always a good call (see what I did there?)
- Shout out!
- With permission, of course, feature a donor in a social media post, or in a section of your newsletter. Similar to a call, use that space to appreciate them; give one reason why you’re glad that they are a part of your donor community.
- Break out the pens.
- On acknowledgements being sent out – or blank notecards you may have sitting around the (home)office – write a note! Include their name. Personalize it. Show your appreciation. Remember that even handwritten addresses on postage have a higher likelihood of being opened.
- Segment your list.
- Donor communication should not take a one size fits all approach, but instead should focus on strategies that appeal to the many different audiences you engage with.
- About to send a newsletter out? Is an appeal on the horizon? Everyone loves to get a piece of mail that feels personalized to them. Categorize your list into volunteer, member, donor, and prospect; then, message people in a way that shows you know how they interact with you – even slight language differences can make an incredible impact.
- Create recurring donors, new donors, major donors, and other relevant segments based on the information you’ve been able to capture and manage.
- This can also consider different age groups of donors you may have – older generations may appreciate a handwritten piece in the mail, while NextGen donors may respond to more social media and e-communication pieces.
Donors appreciate establishing an authentic connection with the organization they choose to support. Take the time to say “thank you” – without ask or request – and reach a new level of engagement with the advocates of your mission.