Knowing who your donor is something that a lot of charities believe they do well. We all know who our most reliable community fundraisers, volunteers, and our draw members are, but do we really understand why these people are loyal to us and what do we need to do to maintain their loyalty?
What motivates them to support us? Would this be good to know you might ask? Why do I really need to know? What do these loyal donors require from us?
Speaking to at least some of your donors will give you great insight into what motivates them to give and support you, it will help you focus your messaging, perhaps Facebook, newsletters, or other conversations. So try it, you will be surprised and you will learn.
Perhaps there are other donors out there who you have a less ‘connected’ relationship with? Names you don’t recognize, generous donors and promoters you we have not yet gotten to know. You might be surprised to know that the majority of donors just give once. The challenge is to convert these one time donors to regular supporters of your cause.
In order to ensure you retain those hard-earned new donors, effective donor communications is key. Here are some tips
1. Give donors the information they want
Keep it simple. You can increase donor retention by simply and clearly communicating how donations are being spent and their impact. While donors anecdotally report they don’t know how their money is being spent, what they’re really saying is they don’t know if or how they are making a difference.
Creating communications that are straightforward and impact focused is a simple way to demonstrate your ability to understand and provide the information your donors need. These type of regular communications will build trust with your donors and pave the way for more substantial gifts or regular giving.
2. Segment donors and tailor your communications
No two donors are the same. Some make one gift per year; others give each month. Some prefer electronic communications, while others prefer mail. This is where segmentation comes in. Knowing and responding to your donors based on their preferences makes them feel understood and appreciated.
Different ways to segment your donors include their giving level (how much have they donated over time) giving frequency and communication preferences. Personalising communications can result in an increase in their effectiveness.
3. Engage with donors on an emotional level
Tell your donors what your doing and Why! Be specific and be clear about the impact donations will or are making to end users.
Creating an emotional connection with donors is the most effective way to fundraise. Remember, your donors chose your organization because they relate to your organisation in some way. They are interested in and believe in what you are doing. Let them know how their donations are helping you fulfill your mission.
4. Acknowledgements & Thank you Letters
Did you know that 13 percent of donors stop donating because they were never thanked? Donors need to know they’re appreciated. It’s important to always send a personalised thank you to communicate to your donors that they are valued.
Receipts should be personalized and delivered promptly, each time a donation is received. If the donation is larger than normal, or otherwise out of the ordinary, make your thank you exceptional as well. Pick up the phone and call the donor. Add some personalised text or invite the donor to visit your organisation or just invite them for coffee!
It’s important to remember that you are building relationships with your donors. Invest time in crafting your communications. From the first thank you, through your newsletters, solicitations, website, social media and more, apply these tactics and retain and grow your donor support.