As your organization/ charity grows, it is indispensable to keep building a good relationship with your donors and solicit more supporters of your cause. You sometimes experience donors going away, and it becomes more difficult to re-establish organization’s credibility. In keeping your donors happy and active, here are some ways to do so.
Communicate with them
Fundraising expert, Penelope Burk, suggests that at least 70% of donor attrition could be due to the way we say thank you and communicate with our donors.
Do not just send them emails when you need money: remember to always do some non-ask communications in the same manner where they will be solicited. It would be nice to be thoughtful to your donors throughout the year and make sure that your donors also receive newsletters and other non-solicitation mailings throughout the year. Otherwise, they would start to ignore your emails without even bothering to read them. Keep in touch with them regularly.
Aside from inviting them to galas and huge parties, it would be a great opportunity to give your donors to physically connect with your organization through site tours, small group meet and greet with your staff, or even volunteer opportunities. In this way, you create a strong foundation of relationship with your patrons.
Keep them excited about the activities of your organization by sharing with them the on-hand experience of what you are doing and what they are funding. One example of this is the Gawad Kalinga 2014 Bayani Challenge where they involved volunteers in building houses and fishing boats, refurnish schools, fed thousands, and alleviate the burdens of the disaster-hit countrymen.
The best way to keep donors engaged for a lifetime is to keep them constantly thinking about, hearing about, and funding your work and mission.
Listen to them
Most of the donors do not like to be just among the financers of your non-profit, they want to become a part of it. They want their opinions to be heard than just making donations every time.
Why not send them surveys regarding the work of your non-profit and ask them for their thoughts? Or you can make a phone call for that matter. This will give you a better understanding on your donor’s individual needs and desires. Plus, this will make them feel more encouraged to invest in supporting your NGO.
Recognize them appropriately
Public recognition may be important to some donors. In your annual report, your donors would turn to the donor recognition pages and look for their names. Do not forget that you have to make sure that their names are there and are correctly spelled. Some donors may be particular with e-mail acknowledgements, while others would highly appreciate a personal, hand-written thank you notes from your team so you better accommodate them accordingly.
Non-profit blogger, Ann Green, suggested “Whatever you send out, make it donor-centric. Focus on success stories. Show how the donor was part of that success. And always show gratitude.”
This article was written by Kareen Defensor.
Kareen is the team’s communications and research assistant who also works on Akubo’s other projects, including a new, growing resource portal for local nonprofits called NGO:PH.