Hello, nonprofits! What have you been doing lately? I’m asking because I haven’t heard much from you. Okay, a few of you have been sending updates, e-newsletters, action alerts, and appeals. But mostly – nothing.
I know it’s a quieter time, but that doesn’t mean you need to disappear. You should be communicating with your donors at least once a month. In fact, the period between campaigns is an excellent time to reach out. And, since many nonprofits seem to have decided to take a break from their donor communication (not a wise decision), your message will be one of the few they’ll receive.
Your donors want to hear from you. Here are a few ways you can connect.
Share an update
Let your donors know how they’re helping you make a difference. Send something by mail if you can. Maybe a two-page update or infographic postcard. This is one of my favorites. Knock it Out of the Park If it’s impossible to send something by mail right now, you can use email.
Say thank you
You don’t need a reason to thank your donors. Just do it. Send them a nice thank you card or you can combine a thank you and an update. You could also make a video. There are so many ways to thank your donors. Have some fun and get creative.
Create a better newsletter
You may already keep in touch with your newsletter. Newsletters can be a great way to engage, but many of them are about as exciting as income tax forms.
A good summer project for you is to create a better newsletter that won’t bore your donors. Find some engaging stories to share. Think about what your donors want. Hint – It’s not a lot of bragging.
Tie in current events
There’s a lot going in the world right now. Will certain policies or budget cuts affect your organization? Share ways your donors can help – perhaps by contacting their legislators, volunteering, or making a donation.
Appeals are about more than raising money
Throughout the year, I receive more fundraising appeals than any other type of communication. Most of them are transactional and generic.
An appeal can be a way to connect with your donors if you make relationship building the main focus. Thank donors for their past support, share some updates, and show them how their gift will help you make a difference.
A couple of other ways to connect and raise additional revenue are to invite current donors to join your family of monthly donors, and send a special letter to your lapsed donors letting them know you miss them and want them back.
Keep it up throughout the year
Your donors want to hear from you throughout the year. A communications calendar could be just the ticket to help you with this so your donors won’t wonder why they haven’t heard from you.