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Donors are Dynamite (Part One)

Know your donors

Who are they? We have written before about treating donors properly, but over the next two weeks, in a two-part blog post, we are going to share some more important information about donors. Firstly, who are your donors?

Knowing who is writing cheques for your cause is important

How old are your donors?

The age of your donors is a piece of information that can really help you better communicate and engage with them. There is no point in me trying to send  an email to my Nan! Not only will your method of communication change, but your style of writing may change depending on the generation you are speaking with.

Birthdates are handy details to have

Of course, it can be a bit tricky getting this information because you don’t want to offend people. When asking, however, remember that asking for date of birth is better than asking for an age range as obviously over time people will move out of one date range and into another and you won’t know the details of when.

Why do they support you?

Of course, it’s because they like your cause, but you want more than that.

What compelled them to make their first donation and why have they continued their support? Was it because they saw something in the media about the work you were doing and they felt it really connected with them personally? Perhaps it was because they saw something special in your organisation’s founder or leader? Maybe it was because they have been personally affected by the service you are offering or providing?

This information can easily come through a conversations with your donors. Take the time to talk with them. Ask them questions. Of course, small non-profits don’t have the resources of a big donor team to do this so recruit some volunteers who are comfortable on the phones. Get them to start making some calls and recording the information. Your donors will love it!

What projects are they interested in?

As well as knowing why your donors support your cause, it’s good to know which particular parts of your organisation they have most affinity with. Examining their past donations and what campaigns or appeals they have responded to will help you with this. For some donors there may not be anything in it, but for others there may be an obvious pattern that they are interested (and respond to) stories about cats, rather than dogs, for instance.

So you would then be wise to note that down, track the data accordingly and write to those people more about cats then dogs.

Learning about your donors is an ongoing task. It needs to happen over time through a continual process. Put some basic measures in place now and get started.

Stay tuned for part two in our donor blog posts – Engaging your donors – next week.

See you in the pond,

The Fish Chick.

P.S Don’t forget to subscribe to our blogs if you haven’t yet. You will never miss a post and get all of our hints and tips for non-profits. You can do this on the right hand side of the page at the top of this blog post.


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