Those involved in the nonprofit sector will be glad to hear that the nonprofit workforce is growing. And, growth often makes donors feel more secure in giving money. More/better staff = greater impact.
The last thing you want to do after accepting donations is to leave your donors high and dry as you focus on other obligations. This can make people feel unappreciated (and even make them regret donating).
So, are YOU having a one-night stand with your donors? Have no fear, there are a few steps you can take in order to avoid having a one-night stand with your donors.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.
Thank, thank, and thank again
One of the quickest ways to make someone feel like you don’t appreciate them is to forego thanking them for their contribution. This is especially true with donors, as they gave to your organization knowing they would likely get nothing in return.
So, it’s important that you show your gratitude if you want them to feel like their contribution mattered to you.
A powerful way to do this is to send handwritten thank-you cards to each donor who gave to your nonprofit. Not only will this show your appreciation, but it will also show that you took the time to create something for them personally. Another way is to take the time to call them – no matter the amount they gave. You can empower your board and other volunteers to help with this as well!
Keep Them Updated
Most people who donate won’t be very enthusiastic about donating again if you don’t inform them of how their gift is making an impact.
You can share your success in a multitude of other ways:
1. Straight up telling them! Put it on your calendar yo to send out quarterly updates to your supporters. And be specific. Say exactly what money has come in and the impact it has made. I mean you would do the same in a relationship right? It’s safe to say most relationships wouldn’t last long if you never updated them on how you’re doing, for better or worse.
2. Posting on your social media accounts is a quick and easy method to show the good your nonprofit does for your community. Just be sure to make your posts engaging and continually respond to comments.
3. Send a monthly newsletter that informs donors of the progress you’ve made in the last 30 days.
4. Grab coffee with your donors as much as you can.
5. Have “donor specific” events, like happy hours, lunches, etc. – anything to get to know them!
Whichever route you take, they’ll be glad to know their money isn’t just sitting in an account somewhere.
Stay in Touch About Other Things
Just because someone donated to your organization doesn’t mean that’s all you have to talk about.
Be sure to inform them of any events, celebrations, or other interesting activities that your nonprofit is hosting or participating in and offer them an invitation. When you do invite them, though, do it from person to person and not as a business looking for donors.
This level of respect can go a long way in building professional (and even personal) relationships.
Speaking of personal, get to know them (have we said this before?)! Do they have kids? Where do they work? Do they love dogs? Believe it or not, talking about things NOT related to your mission can also help your mission in the long run. They need to know that you care about them and not just their money or what they can do for your cause.
Ask For Their Feedback
Giving donors the opportunity for their voices to be heard offers a many benefits for your nonprofit.
First of all, it will let them voice their opinion on your organization, your fundraising methods, your overall work as a nonprofit, etc. Establishing this level of communication is vital to moving forward with them as future donors.
Second, you’ll learn about what you’re doing right while also learning where you need to improve.
Be sure to be open-minded about this feedback, though. While nobody likes to hear criticism, it’s even worse to continue with practices that may not resonate with your donors.
Engage With Them on a Personal Level
It means a lot to many people when organizations follow them back on social media. This helps to bridge the gap between business and consumer and reminds people that there’s a person on the other side of their screen.
So, don’t be afraid to like, share, comment, etc. on their social media posts. As an added bonus, it can help get your name out there to their friends and followers.
Additionally, you can take things offline and reach out to them about an in-person meetup. Offering to take a donor out to lunch or to play a round of golf will show them that you value them for their personality and not simply their wallet.
During these interactions, though, it’s important not to bring up the topic of donating at all. Some people may assume that your desire to spend time with them is about securing another donation, and they’ll be surprised if you never mention it.
Expect Nothing in Return
While your continued contact with your donors may result in future donations, don’t assume that it will.
That’s okay, though, since the purpose of showing gratitude is making them feel appreciated for the contribution they’ve made. Even if donors never plan on donating again, you’ll at least have established a good relationship with them.
This can lead to them being vocal in their support of your business, and even telling their friends, colleagues, and family members about your organization.
Above all else, be human.
Express your gratitude for their donation and let them know how much it impacts your nonprofit.
Also, acknowledge the fact that they could have spent their money on literally anything else, so it means a lot that they chose to give it to your organization. The more human you present yourself, the more comfortable your donors will feel about giving again in the future.
Avoiding a One-Night Stand: Final Thoughts
With the above information about how to prevent a one-night stand with your donors in mind, you’ll be well on your way to cultivating longlasting relationships that are mutually beneficial.
Want to learn more about how to recognize your supporters? This article has plenty of useful info.