Donations are the lifeline of a nonprofit. Keeping donors personally engaged can and will make the difference between a one-time gift and a lifetime of donations. Retention is the secret to motivating donors to continue giving after the first gift. Here are three ways to make your donors feel like a million bucks.
1. Keep Donors Engaged With Storytelling: Remember the importance of, "Once Upon A Time," when you are sharing the good word about your nonprofit. Sharing information about how their donations are working to make a positive impact in someone's life makes the donor feel good. Creating an emotional connection between who you are helping and the donor is key to keeping them engaged and giving. Emotion is very powerful and should be showcased in your story. Nonprofits are in the feel-good business so we have an opportunity to make donors feel like part of our organization and helping our mission. Heartfelt stories and personal connections will have a big effect in making this very important connection.
Tip: After the story, make the ask: Always include a call to action so donors know what you want them to do. "Donate today!"
2. Staying In Touch With Donors: Customer service is just as important in the nonprofit world as it is in the for-profit world. Start thinking about your donors as customers and your retention rate will increase. There are many studies that indicate only 45% of first time donors will give the second time. Customer service after the donation will increase this percentage. Simple handwritten thank you cards, periodic updates on how their donation is changing someone's lives, photos of the people your nonprofit is helping, informative newsletters are all ways to stay in touch. Keeping them "in the loop" so they know you appreciate them will result in a second, third and even a lifetime of donations.
Tip: Thank a first-time donor the same way they donated to your organization. For example, if the donation was made from a mobile device, then send them an email or text message.
3. Add The Personal Touch: As mentioned in #2, a handwritten thank you note is a very important part of making a donor feel appreciated. A personal phone call is another exceptional way to thank them and let them personally know how important they are to your nonprofit. The simplest efforts make a very big difference.
Tip: Treat all donors the same, whether they donate one dollar or one million dollars. The small donations not only add up but can turn into larger ones as time goes by.
If you have any questions about keeping your charity or nonprofit compliant, please don't hesitate to contact us!