Guest post by Lori Finch
Giving days have become more popular over the last few years. Give Local America is coming up on Tuesday, May 5 and GivingTuesday takes place on the first Tuesday of December.
My concern with giving days is organizations tend to spend so much time on fundraising and not enough time thanking their donors and building relationships. You can change that. This guest post by Lori Finch shows you how you can keep your donors engaged after a giving day.
Give Local America is coming on Tuesday, May 5 and more than 7,000 nonprofits are participating. A lot of effort goes into an event like that. You send email newsletters and post updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Board members get involved, and you alert your donors. You print flyers and post them at local businesses and restaurants. You spend hours in front of the monitor managing the campaign and responding to donors via email and social networks.
Don’t let that work go to waste. Keep the momentum going by engaging donors after the giving day. They’re the lifeblood of organizations. Invest in them so they continue to support you through the years.
Here are 8 ways to keep donors engaged after a giving day:
- Say thank you.
Thank you notes shouldn’t be another item to check off the list. Make them an experience. Donors will talk about them with friends and family, online and off.
- Share results.
Statistics are great, but they don’t tell a story. Activate donors with stories about how your organization is impacting the local community. Include these stories in annual reports and other resources.
Stories can be written, but don’t forget photos, video, and audio. Choose the content form most likely to resonate with your audience and drive action.
- Keep in touch.
Don’t be a fair-weather friend. Stay in touch throughout the year. Build relationships through personalized newsletters and other forms of communication—the telephone and in-person chats are still valid tactics.
- Be social.
Keep social channels active after a giving day. Social is a great way to form relationships and ongoing engagement throughout the year, not just during or for a giving event. Share progress and other information of interest to donors.
- Invite people to participate.
People want to support you. You just have to be, as Gail Perry says, “cheerfully aggressive” about asking. If you’re excited about what you’re doing, they will be too.
- Create community.
Develop a community. Introduce donors to each another. Give them opportunities to work together to accomplish a goal. They’re more likely to stay involved if they feel like they’re part of a family.
- Celebrate loyal supporters.
Celebrating loyal supporters doesn’t mean breaking the bank. Just find ways to reward behaviors you want people to repeat. Champion donors on social—other people will soon want to join them.
- Go old school.
Some organizations participating in Give Local America, like Infinite Hands Initiative and the East Hampton Food Pantry, use flyers and other print materials. The materials serve a two-fold purpose: in-person interactions and tangible reminders.
Donors are more likely to recall your organization if they can put a volunteer’s face to it or have a physical document in hand. In addition, sending personalized notes makes them feel like prized members of the community. They’ll be more likely to continue their support.
Looking for more tips and resources? Visit Give Local America for more information or to sign up.
About Lori Finch
Lori Finch is the Vice President of Community Giving, Kimbia and the General Manager of Give Local America. With an extensive background working with nonprofit organizations, Lori is uniquely suited in her role of managing relationships with Kimbia’s community foundation clients and partners, helping to ensure their success. Prior to Kimbia, Lori spent six years at The San Diego Foundation where she served as Director of Nonprofit Programs, developing education resources and tools for more than 250 local nonprofits. She holds an MBA from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, and a B.S.B.A in Finance from Georgetown University.