Remember when you first went off to college and pretty much only called your parents to ask (okay, beg) for money? Well, your mom and dad still had to love you unconditionally, but if you do the same thing to your donors, they probably won’t stick around.
Interacting with your donors between asks will increase their loyalty to your organization, generate repeat donations and lead to strong, lifelong bonds. Here’s how:
This should go without saying, but sending a thank you note is an easy way to lure donors back and make them feel needed—bonus points if it’s handwritten! In general, though, every donation should be answered with some physical proof of your appreciation, and the faster the follow-up, the better.
Listen to them
Between asks, it’s always a good idea to encourage your donors to participate in a feedback survey. That way, you can gain constructive criticism and learn how your organization can improve. Even the small stuff can make a big difference with donor retention.
Here are some sites that allow you to create easy, free surveys:
At the end of your survey, you can also include a more open-ended space for donors to leave their personal stories, comments and testimonies about their experience with your organization. Then, you can share these on all your communication platforms (with their permission, of course) to inspire others to become donors, as well!
Another great way to engage donors between asks is to show them the physical impact they’ve made on your organization. Use your social media accounts to share success stories, improvements to your workspace or any other cool ways you’ve used their contributions. People like knowing that they’ve made a direct impact, and they’ll also appreciate seeing transparency in how you’ve allocated their funds.
Sending out a weekly newsletter is an easy, cheap way to keep your donors in the loop and update them on your organization’s upcoming events or fundraisers. This, along with your social media platforms, is also a great place to show people how you’ve used their donations. If you need some inspiration before you start your own newsletter, check this out.
Interact with them
If you’re looking to make an even deeper connection with your donors, hang out with them in person. Have a golf outing! Go bowling! Meet for happy hour! Forming real relationships and friendships with your donors just might be the key to turning a one-time donor into a lifetime donor. These outings may or may not be a good time to ask for additional donations—it’s up to you to feel out whether that’s appropriate. Just make sure your main focus is having a genuinely good time and building solid relationships. Don’t worry, the donations will surely follow.!
Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to build a loyal, devoted band of repeat donors that feel connected to your organization year-round, and not just when they’re being asked to give.