Consider a donor-centric fundraising approach to keep givers engaged

Fundraisers looking to increase nonprofit payments are sometimes faced with a relationships-versus-results dichotomy when it comes to donors, but that doesn't have to be the case. Donor-centric fundraising presents a model in which the relationships work toward the result, a particularly important reminder as nonprofits aim for high donor engagement.

The bonds you build with donors facilitate the payments they make and the investment they contribute to your charity over time. Neglect them and your nonprofit will suffer: Eighty percent of Food for the Poor's lost donors cited distance as their main reason, reported The NonProfit Times. In response, the organization shifted to a donor-is-king model in which each piece of copy was customized. As a result, 60 to 70 percent fewer of their recipients asked to be removed from the mailing list.

However, the donor-centric ideology can often be misused and abused, particularly when fundraisers assume they know how the donors will react. Most of the time, what you think you would respond to never works in real life, Jeff Brooks argued at Future Fundraising Now. Conversely, what you think would never work - emotional stories, frequent contact, colloquial language - gets results. Stay aware of donor behavior and keep them engaged as much as possible. A developed relationship with your givers will allow you to be constantly aware of what they are looking for most from your charity. Donors are inclined to give and want to contribute, according to Rory Green at 101 Fundraising, and even as much as a personalized thank-you note can equate to years of regular - and likely increasing - donations. Engaged and loyal donors can lead to long-term financial stability and a genuinely donor-centric approach can secure that relationship.

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