How do you build trust with donors? These days, it can be easier to get the attention of thousands of little fish online than a few big fish right in your own pond. It’s the law of large numbers. With sleek one-tap payment options and crowd-funding strategies, you can use this attention to help fund your programs. But first, you have to establish meaningful relationships with your audience.
Here are a few ways you can make your organization stand out and build trust with those who are loyal to your cause.
Simply put, be human. Whether its an email blast or an Instagram post, wherever your audience is interacting with you, interact with them back. Reply to their comments and like their posts. Remind them you are still here doing good work. Emphasize the human element of your mission.
When it comes to creating content, keep that same sense of sincerity. This could include interviews with patrons or testimonials, but the best option is often the simplest. A selfie video from your office could offer people a peek behind the curtain at your organization, and can be a powerful tool for updates, announcements, or even day-in-the-life-of-a-staffer content. It doesn’t have to be fancy or highly produced. Just be you. It all serves to create empathy and excitement about the value you offer.
Consistency will build trust
If you’ve ever been on a family road trip, you know the relief of seeing a McDonald’s sign peeking over the hill. It isn’t just a logo. It’s a familiar face in a strange place, and that feels comforting when you’re away from home. You know it isn’t perfect, but it’s the same here as it is there, and that feels safe.
When it comes to your online brand, be like McDonald’s. Be consistent. Make a social media content schedule and stick to it. You don’t need to post daily. But try to update the public regularly. Spread your content across multiple platforms and keep it cohesive. For example, if your team put together a YouTube video about your summer programs, adapt the script of the video to a blog post, and post a related photo on Instagram. Take advantage of the multitude of different ways people discover, consume, and share media. This tie-in content will ensure that invested viewers can easily find out more about your mission, or the story being featured.
When viewers see consistency across platforms and hear your repeated message, they will see the thought and care behind all of it. Make your online presence a priority. It will take dedication, but a well-organized workflow and clear communication will save your social media manager hours of stress. Over time, your audience will understand that you mean business, and the consistency will help build trust and boost online retention with donors.
Keep things positive
In all of your messaging, keep it uplifting. You must present a clear vision for a better future and a plan to get there. Invite your audience to be a part of your team. Let people know what they can do right now to contribute to positive change in the culture around them. Give people meaningful ways to add to discussions and share their ideas, like in comment sections. Keep donors connected with the people they’re helping, so they can feel secure knowing what was accomplished.
Most of all, remember to say thank you. Even if people don’t have the cash to donate right now, the currency of the internet is attention. These individuals are donating their time, and they’re becoming emotionally invested in your cause. Don’t take it for granted. Never miss an opportunity to acknowledge how much you value these donors and encourage others to join the cause.
About The Author
Josiah Masvero founded Grilla Design to help nonprofits and small businesses develop and manage their branding and social media strategies.