May 1, 2015
Fostering lasting connections with donors is fundamental to the success of a charitable cause. Supporters matter infinitely to a nonprofit, and we've spent some time focusing on the importance of nurturing donor connections this past month. These articles took the spotlight in April:
1. "Creative ways to keep your donors around"
It's understandable that nonprofits want to extend their reach as far as possible. The larger their community, the more good Samaritans are working toward a collective cause. Focusing solely on finding new donors is an easy thing to do, but nonprofits should take care not to put their existing supporters in second place.
When donor retention takes a backseat to donor recruitment, nonprofits stand to lose funding opportunities. Those who've bestowed gifts already believe in your cause, and they're likely to continue giving if you take the time to recognize them as a partner in your vision. Tell donors how much they matter by cultivating long-term relationships with them.
Don't forget the importance of dialogue in a relationship. Ask your benefactors for feedback on the donation experience. Facebook and other social networks are good platforms for surveys and questionnaires. You want to take care of your donors, and you want to give them a voice.
2. "Effective ways to thank online donors"
Gratitude is the foundation of long-lasting donor relationships. Without the continued support of your philanthropic advocates, your organization's vision could not come to fruition. The bond between you and your donors is a two-way-street, and it calls for continual nurturing.
You want to recognize the positive impact of what you're creating together, and it goes without question that you're always thankful. But as more nonprofits engage with their supporters online, the virtual space can create some unintentional distance. For this reason, a thank-you email is not enough to foster a connection with your donors.
Demonstrating appreciation calls for time, creativity and sincerity. Each donor is unique, and equally important to your cause. Instead of sending a form letter, take the time to craft a handwritten expression of gratitude tailored to each individual. There is no better way to tell someone how much they're valued than by recognizing them personally.
Don't stop at recognizing your donors. Communicate with them. Tell someone the specific outcome of their gift. Transparency imparts respect and provides concrete proof that donations are enabling the greater good. This tangible representation can prompt individuals to give more in the future.
If you can, start a larger conversation. Write your thank-you letter as an invitation to an event honoring benefactors. Appreciation dinners and similar occasions provide room for real-time interaction, and help cement the personal relationship you have with supporters.
3. "Nonprofit marketing: The beginning"
While business terminology can seem antithetical to the role of a nonprofit, it's important that organizations don't shy away from marketing strategy. The term "marketing" has a different meaning in the philanthropic world than it does in the corporate world. Rather than selling products for profit, you're spreading the word about your foundation to gather support for your humanitarian efforts. Fundraising and marketing are two sides of the same coin. Your focus is on the side that uses revenue to build a better world.
This mindset underscores the importance of branding, publicity and fundraising for your nonprofit. Creating buzz about your organization can bring more viewers to your website, where you just might see an increase in clicks on your online donation button. More importantly, you'll keep donors engaged and part of an overarching conversation about contributing to a good cause.
For more valuable information, check out our blog. We hope you enjoyed these articles!