How much do you care about your donors? I’m sure your intentions are good and you think you care about your donors, but your donor communication doesn’t always reflect that.
Your donors showed they care about your cause by giving to your organization. You need to show your donors you care about them, too.
Here are a few ways to show your donors how much you care about them.
Do a stellar job of thanking your donors
One of your first steps is to do a good job of thanking your donors and most nonprofits fall short of anything that even resembles a stellar thank you.
If someone donates online, they should be directed to a thank you landing page that includes a prominent THANK YOU and a thank you photo or video. This is your first chance to make a good impression, so don’t blow it. After that, your donors should get an equally stellar thank you email.
Everyone who donates, even if they donate online, should get a thank you letter, handwritten note, or phone call as soon as possible, preferably within 48 hours. If you wait too long to thank your donors, it looks like you don’t care about them.
You’re also not showing a lot of #donorlove when you send one of those lame thank you letters that start with On behalf of X organization… Write something warm and personal.
Finally, thanking donors isn’t something you only do right after you receive a donation. It’s a year-round effort. Create a thank you plan to help you with this.
Don’t go AWOL
Your donors want to hear how they’re helping you make a difference. That’s why you have to stay in touch throughout the year.
You can do this with a regular newsletter (both email and print) and short updates by mail, email, and social media.
Planning ahead is a must here. If you haven’t already done so, putting together a communications calendar will be a huge help.
Donors come first
It’s crucial that all your communication is donor-centered. Sending a newsletter or update that just brags about your organization doesn’t show your donors you care about them.
Share content you know they’ll be interested in such as success stories and client profiles. Use language like Because of you or Thanks to you.
Your donors want to be recognized for who they are. Welcome new donors and acknowledge previous gifts. Also, your donors have names so please don’t address your letters to Dear Friend.
Little things count
It may not seem like a big deal to you to address your donors as Dear Friend instead of their names, but it matters to them.
In my last post, I stressed the importance of having a good database and to monitor your database to make sure you have accurate records. Misspelling a donor’s name and sending duplicate mailings may also not seem like a big deal, but if you can give your database the attention it needs, you’re showing your donors you care about them.
Surprise and delight your donors
How many times have you received something from a nonprofit that wowed you? Probably not that often, right? Most donor communication is rote, run of the mill stuff.
Do something that will surprise and delight your donors. Send them a handwritten note or a postcard with an engaging photo. Try to send something by mail because it’s more personal and your donors will be more likely to see it.
It doesn’t take long to write a short, heartfelt handwritten note, but it will mean the world to your donors. Get board members and volunteers to help with this.
You can also surprise and delight your donors with a thank you phone call, a thank you video, or an appreciation event.
One of the biggest components of showing your donors you care about them is gratitude. Here are some more ways to show your donors how much you care about them.