Do's and don'ts of building donor trust

Gaining donors' trust might sound easy enough. After all, you believe in your nonprofit and its mission. You have an office full of employees, volunteers and promotional materials to help you get the word out about your cause. You even have certified payment processing to help keep incoming donations safe and secure.

However, how do you ensure donations continue to come in to keep your charity operating? Gaining and keeping the trust of new donors can be like a tightrope contest at times, but there are a few dos and dont's nonprofits should remember. If you want donors to embrace your cause either with their time or money, you'll need a plan of action.

Here are a few tips for how to represent yourself and your organization to prospective givers:

Don't push
Pushy and insistent fundraising could damage your nonprofit's reputation and credibility. Soliciting donations in a dogged manner might turn new donors off and cause veteran givers to think twice about giving money to your organization again.

Don't contact donors just when your nonprofit is in need of money.

Do show respect
Make interactions with potential donors pleasant for both parties involved. Listen to the person's concerns and start a dialogue . Speak to him or her about your nonprofit's long- and short-term goals and how they may help. 

Keep the lines of communication between you and your donor base open so new and old donors alike are aware of your nonprofit's recent actions. Interact with supporters year-round through events, promotions and by using social media. All three are good avenues to address your organization's goals, as well as where donor money is going and how it's making a difference to your cause.

Don't hide
With retention rates for first-time donors falling, according to Nonprofit Marketing Blog, nonprofits must focus on recruitment efforts. Many charitable givers will want as much information about your organization as possible before they write a check or continue sending money in to you, so be as forthcoming as you can.

Do be transparent
Anticipate donor concerns and address them head-on. Besides having clear messages and goals for your nonprofit, make sure you tell givers exactly what their money is going to in your organization. Inform them about your nonprofit's structure and who works there via newsletters and your website. 

Meanwhile, have your charity independently assessed and audited on a regular basis to assure the public. 

Keeping channels of communication open along with making your nonprofit's goals and finances clear can help it achieve trust and credibility with its donor base and help attract new donors to its cause.

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