Successful fundraising that helps a charity achieve its mission doesn’t begin and end with the donated dollar.
Donors play a critical role in keeping the wheels of a not-for-profit turning, and they must remain engaged continuously to build and strengthen relationships that lead to future income.
With so many conflicting priorities in running a charity, donor engagement is easy to overlook. Include the following within your processes to hold the attention of an audience all year round.
With today’s sophisticated data management systems, there’s no reason for communication to be generic.
To maintain engagement, donors need to feel like they’re hearing from someone who knows them, understands them and values them as part of the wider family.
In all correspondence, always use the recipients first name (unless they’ve asked otherwise) as a minimum. Further personalisation could include:
- Refer to previous donations
- Mention their location
- Mention an event they attended
An SRM with segmenting capabilities makes it simple to insert specific supporter details pulled from the database into email and mail correspondence to strengthen the all-important relationship with donors.
Provide opportunities to get involved behind the scenes
Supporting an organisation isn’t just about giving financially. Make donors aware of how they can provide practical support in ways such as volunteering and running events on your behalf. By providing practical assistance, supporters will better understand the behind the scenes work of the charity and see for themselves why their assistance is so crucial.
Talk to donors
Donor stewardship must be structured and consistent to keep followers engaged. Pick up the phone and have a chat with supporters, particularly major donors, regularly. Contact can be structured in a way that suits the organisation. Consider running a daily or weekly report identifying those who have given over a certain level. Thanking donors personally will make them feel valued, and they’ll look forward to hearing from you again.
Tell your story
While an appeal is one of the primary reasons for a donor to give, they also want to know you. They want to get beneath the surface and find out why you exist, how you exist, where you’ve come from, and where you’re going.
Through social media, events and online platforms, you can continually tell your story and keep donors engaged by letting them know how they’re a part of the charity’s future.
Report the outcomes of giving
Report to donors the specific equipment bought and projects funded with their contribution but, most importantly, showcase the community members that they’ve helped to support.
Demonstrating tangible results rather than leaving a donor to think their gift has gone into a big black hole shows them they’re making a personal difference which will captivate them when it comes time to ask again.
Create a communication plan
The best way to build a relationship is to stay in regular contact with supporters. Use a variety of methods to communicate such as mail, email and social media but structure a communication plan to void boarding them.
Run regular reports to identify and respond to individual supporter requests, for example, remove those who only want to be emailed once a year form the monthly email list.
SupporterHub can help you tailor effective communication and provide specific donor details that contribute to engaging an audience to build future income.
To find out more about a free trial, contact us today.