Summer is almost here, yea! This is often a quieter time for most nonprofits, but you don’t want to be too quiet and ignore your donors. In fact, this is a great time to do some relationship building.
You should be communicating with your donors at least once a month and that includes the summer months. Don’t make the mistake of taking a vacation from your donor communication – never a wise decision.
Here are a few ways you can connect with your donors this summer, as well as throughout the year, and build those important relationships.
Send an update
If you haven’t communicated with your donors much since your last appeal, send them an update to let them know how they’re helping you make a difference.
One of my favorite ways to connect is with a postcard. This is a donor communication win-win. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the importance of investing in direct mail.
I know mail is expensive, but a postcard shouldn’t cost too much. It’s also a quick way to share an update with busy donors. I recently received one that included a bunch of donor-centered phrases such as your support is helping and thanks to your support.
If it’s impossible to send something by mail right now, you can use email.
Show some #donorlove
You don’t need a reason to thank your donors. Just do it and do it often. Most organizations don’t do a good job of thanking their donors, so you’ll stand out if you do.
This is another situation where a postcard will work wonders. You can do a combo thank you and update. Go one step further and make your donor’s day with a handwritten thank you card. You could also create a thank you 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, whether it’s electronic, print, or both. In theory, newsletters can be a great way to engage, but in reality, most of them are boring bragfests.
For the summer, I would suggest a shorter newsletter to capture your donors’ attention. Also, can you jazz up your newsletter to create a better one going forward? Spend time this summer working on finding some engaging stories and photos.
Tie in current events
There’s a lot going in the world right now. Will certain policies or budget cuts affect your organization? Many states are working on their budget for the next fiscal year.
Share ways your donors can help – perhaps by contacting their legislators, volunteering, or making a donation.
Advocacy alerts can be a great way for people to engage with your organization. Be sure to thank participants and keep them updated on any outcomes.
Focus more on relationship building in your fundraising appeals
A fundraising appeal can be a way to connect with your donors if you make relationship building the main focus. This rarely happens because most appeals are transactional and generic.
Whether you have an appeal planned soon or later in the year, keep relationship building front and center. 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 this summer 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 this summer and throughout the year. A communications calendar will be a huge help with this so your donors won’t wonder why you’re ignoring them.