This is the Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship


Casablanca is one of my favorite movies.  There are so many priceless lines, which I often recite while I’m watching the movie.  One of them is “LouieI think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

When someone donates to your organization, it’s also the beginning of a beautiful friendship or the continuation of one if the person is a repeat donor.

Here’s how you can ensure a beautiful friendship with your donors.

Say thank you

In my last post I wrote about creating a thank you experience for your donors that starts (not ends) after you receive their donations and continues throughout your relationship with them.

Welcome new donors

Send a welcome packet or introductory email to your new donors.

But don’t forget your current donors

I’ve donated to several organizations for a number of years, and it bothers me that they never acknowledge that.  Personalize your thank you notes/letters and thank people for being a longtime donor.

Don’t miss out on opportunities to build relationships

I’m amazed that after I attend an event or give a memorial gift, most organizations don’t to a good job of building a relationship.  I could be a potential longtime donor.

Stay in touch

No one likes a friend who doesn’t stay in touch.  Communicate regularly with donor- centered messages. Mix it up by channels, unless you know your donors spend most of their time on one channel.

Here are some ways to stay in touch with your donors throughout the year.

A newsletter can be a great way to engage, but they’re often boring, too long, and focused on the organization. Be sure to tell stories that show how your donors are helping you make a difference.

Send your donors brief updates via email, social media, or postcard. This is a good way to complement your newsletters or stay in touch if you choose not to do a newsletter.

Conduct short surveys. Ask new donors what drew them to your organization. You can also ask people their opinion on an issue or a question about your communications, such as do they prefer a print or an electronic newsletter.

Send out an advocacy alert on a piece of legislation that affects the people you serve. Then report back on the results. Be sure to thank your donors for getting involved.

Share some engaging photos. Social media is great for sharing photos.

You can also share videos of the people you serve participating in activities or better yet saying Thank You to your donors! Make sure your videos are high quality and keep them short.

Hold an open house at your organization. Offer tours and get to know your donors.

Don’t stop

Create a beautiful friendship with your donors.  Communicate regularly and keep them engaged so they’ll stay with you for a long time.

Photo by Phillippe Put

2 thoughts on “This is the Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

  1. […] If you keep churning through donors and have a high attrition rate, you need to do a better job of building relationships. It’s not hard, but you have to work at it.  This link includes a quick way for you to figure out your donor retention rate A Guide to Donor Retention, and here are a few ways to build relationships with your donors throughout the year.This is the Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship […]


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