Engaging your donors
Last week, in this blog, we helped you get to know your donors. In part two of our ‘Donors are Dynamite’ blog post we are going to highlight some key points about how to best keep them happy, now that you know them.
Acquiring new donors is no doubt one of the most difficult things in fundraising, so once you have them, you want to be sure to keep them. Making sure you keep them engaged is the best way to do this.
Keep in touch
In any relationship regular communication is important and it’s no different with your donors. Whether you choose to do this with newsletters, emails, or letters sent in the post depends on who you’re communicating with and, ultimately, your budget. What is most important is that you do it regularly.
While a newsletter twice a year might be enough, emails might be better to do once a month. And, don’t forget, your communication doesn’t always need to be an ask for a donation – in fact your communication becomes more powerful if it isn’t always about an ask.
There is a whole other post we have written on saying thank you so we don’t have to say too much here except thanking is crucial.
Sharing updates and completion reports on your projects is a great way to engage your supporters. The more they know about what you’re doing (and hear it from you wherever possible – not read about it in the paper) the more they will feel connected with your cause. It doesn’t always have to be a long four page letter – just something so they know you thought of them. Even a little postcard-type photo sent to them of one of the beneficiaries of your program.
There’s no better way than making someone feel important than by asking for their advice – and then listening to it! From time to time, send ‘test’ mailings or campaign materials to a select group of donors and ask them what they think. Let them know it’s a tester only and you really value your opinion.
Find ways to get your donors involved with your cause. Whether it’s through volunteering opportunities or hosting local community fundraising events that they can attend, having tangible ‘connections’ with your supporters is encouraged where possible. Give them opportunities to do something more than donate. That’s why peer to peer fundraising is so great – it empowers your supporters to do more for your organisation.
While you may not have a large number of donors now, as your organisation continues to do great work (and engage your donors well) this number will grow. Therefore, it is important to organise your engagement as best as possible, perhaps by developing an engagement strategy with some basic processes to be followed.
See you in the pond,
The Fish Chick