Relationships require more attention than one dinner out on February 14th, and so do your donors. It is vital to show your donors love year-round in order to strengthen your donor relationships.
According to Greater Good Magazine, “Research at the National Institute of Health showed that the same area of the brain that is activated in response to pleasure lit up when the participants in the study thought about giving money to charity.” It is your job as an organization to nurture that response in your donors. Send them “candy hearts” throughout the year in order to keep them interested, engaged, and inspired to give.
5 Tips for Romancing Donors:
The season of love is the perfect time to start thinking about strengthening your donor relationships. Here are some easy-to-implement strategies for romancing donors:
1. Schedule quarterly check-in calls
The study from the National Institute of Health showed that donors want to feel good about giving. Make your donors feel appreciated with a check-in call. Plan to discuss the work your organization is doing as a result of their contributions. This will have a similar effect as bringing flowers to a significant other. It is a small investment of time that will pay dividends in the future.
These quarterly check-in calls are also a great opportunity for your organization to survey your regular contributors. During the call, ask your donor how they think the organization can improve and what they would like to see from the organization going forward. This gives your donors a voice, while deepening the relationship.
2. Email updates to announce new milestones and initiatives
Donors want to know that their contributions played a role in your organization’s achievements. That is why they give. It is your job to present them with evidence that their money has been put to good use. To strengthen your donor relationships, try establishing a monthly or quarterly newsletter that acts as a heart-shaped thank-you note to your donors.
This email newsletter will announce new goals and initiatives that will encourage more donations. It will also reveal the results of previous campaigns, announce monetary milestones achieved, and report the positive impact that the donors’ contributions have made.
3. Create a personalized thank-you video
Creativity is key when coming up with ways of romancing donors. A personalized thank-you video in response to a large individual donation is an effective way to show your appreciation. These videos do not need to be professionally produced or edited. The important thing is that you take some time to recognize your donor and thank them for their contribution. If feasible, make the video easily shareable on social media platforms. Your donor may feel inclined to share it on their profile, naturally increasing awareness for your organization.
4. Establish a digital community where donors can connect
Your donor list is a community of people with similar interests. They share a common trait: they are invested in your cause. One strategy for romancing donors can be to establish a digital community where donors can connect, interact, post updates, and ask questions.
Websites like Facebook make establishing online communities easy. They allow you to limit membership to donors-only, which will prevent any unwanted participation in the discourse.
This community will be a place where donors can connect with one another, while strengthening their relationship with the organization and its mission. It will be a place where you can get ideas for future campaigns by seeing what your donors are interested in. Additionally, if some donors are unable to give financially one year, they can still feel connected to your cause. Digital communities are a great way to create lasting relationships with your donors.
5. Invite dedicated donors to participate in your marketing
A crucial part of strengthen your donor relationships is featuring them in your marketing assets. Ask some donors if they would like to submit a photograph or short video discussing their “why.” Then you can design a marketing campaign that highlights these submissions.
The featured donors will feel like they just got a rose on The Bachelor. And new donors will have a personal story that they can relate to. It’s a win-win, and best of all, your organization will feel extra loved.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for nonprofit organizations to plan their annual strategy for romancing donors by scheduling check-in calls, preparing email updates, creating thank-you videos, establishing donor communities, and involving donors in your marketing. These five outreach methods will help your donors feel the love all year long.