This may or may not be a busy time for your organization. Some organizations do fundraising appeals or hold events in the spring. Others don’t. Either way, you should make spring relationship building season.
Of course, relationship building needs to be a year-round effort. Donor relations is an important, but often overlooked, component of fundraising. It’s easier and less expensive to keep your current donors. Retention rates are getting better, but we still have a long way to go.
Put relationship building front and center this spring.
Find ways to build relationships in your spring fundraising campaign
Before you send your spring fundraising appeal, send your donors an update to let them know how they’re helping you make a difference. This is especially important if this is not your only fundraising campaign of the year. You don’t want your donors to think the only time they hear from you is when you’re asking for money.
Be sure to segment your donors and personalize your appeal letters and thank you letters. Send welcome packets to new donors and shower your current donors with love. Make a plan to stay in touch throughout the year.
Don’t miss out on opportunities to build relationships with your event attendees
When you hold an event, give your attendees an opportunity to sign up for your mailing list. Then call or send thank you notes afterwards. Recruit volunteers and board members to help you with this.
Besides thanking people for attending your event, let them know how much money you raised, and share specific ways their support is helping you make a difference. Then invite these supporters to connect in other ways such as signing up to receive your newsletter or volunteering.
The same thing applies if you hold a charity run or walkathon. These events often generate new donors. Someone might donate to your 10K because her friend is running in it. Thank everyone who donated and invite them to be a part of your community.
Stay in touch. Event attendees can be potential individual donors if you give them a good reason to continue to support you.
Keep building relationships
Even if you aren’t planning a spring fundraising drive or event, this is a good time to continue to build relationships. Plan to mail a thank you post card or short update. Mail is generally better than email, because your donors are more likely to see your message, but if your budget doesn’t allow it, send something by email.
Practice your ABC’s – Always be connecting
Ideally, you should keep touch with your donors every one to two weeks. You can do this with newsletters, updates, thank you messages, advocacy alerts, and surveys. You’ll have a better chance of building relationships if you stay donor-centered and use channels your donors prefer.
If this sounds too stressful, use a communications calendar to help you stay connected and build relationships. Stay Connected Throughout the Year by Using a Communications Calendar
Never miss an opportunity to build relationships with your donors.