Securing regular donations is not easy, which is why it is so important that you develop a strategy to build strong genuine relationships with your donors to increase giving.
Creating a strong relationship with your donors is beneficial for both your donors and your organisation. Donors will feel appreciated and part of your organisation which will help not only secure regular donations but create a lasting positive reputation for your organisation. Building a strong relationship with each donor will also help spread the good work you’re doing by word of mouth to donors’ family and friends, increasing your reach.
To help get you started we’ve created a small list of tips on how your organisation can improve your relationship with donors to increase giving today!
Why is it important
Building a strong genuine relationship is more important than ever right now, as there are many charities who are in desperate need of funds, so building a connection with your donors will help create long lasting loyalty to your cause. With many financial uncertainties during the current pandemic it is also crucial to continue relationships with donors because although many may have to skip a couple of donations, keeping them up to date shows them that you still care about their donation and it will encourage them to donate again when they can.
Having a good reputation for how you manage your donors will also help you to bring in new people as they will have heard good things about your organisation. This will encourage them to consider making a donation or starting a recurring gift donation, while not everyone will donate straight away, don’t be disheartened as they can still help spread the word to others.
Tips for improving your relationship with donors
Some tips to get you started are conducting thorough research, finding out as much as you can about your audience so you can then communicate effectively with them. Keep them in the loop by sending out reminders or updates regularly on new campaigns to donate to but make sure to always thank them for any contribution. If you want to succeed you should always review how your approach is going and evaluate so you can make improvements.
Research is the best way to understand how to reach your audience effectively. Conducting thorough research will allow you to know the best method to reach your audience whether it be via social media, email or letter to ensure they receive information about all your campaigns. Research will also help you to differentiate your content to suit each of your audiences to encourage more engagement and donations.
Conducting thorough research into your audience will take time but it will also save you time and money in the long run as you will be creating content that is actually visible and informative. The biggest mistake you can make is spending a huge amount of time creating content that no one sees or reads.
2. Communicate effectively
After you have conducted research into your audiences it is important that you don’t post that same thing on every platform, you need to arrange your content to suit the audience you are trying to reach. Even though your content should differ it is important the message stays the same and no confusion is created, you want to push people to your donation platform seamlessly to start your relationship on a positive note.
Once you’ve reached your audience, you need to keep them interested so keep them updated with content about how your campaign is going or about any new campaigns that may interest them this will encourage them to consider making another donation or becoming a regular donor.
It is important that you provide an option in your giving form to allow donors to subscribe to your organisations newsletter. This will allow your organisation to update donors about the progress of the campaign they donated to. Reminding your donors of your progress and why you need their donations will increase the chance of them donating again or setting up a recurring gift.
Make sure when sending out reminders that you don’t overload donors with information, less is more. Regular content is good but you want your content to be powerful and engaging so put more effort into creating something to drive action rather than spamming inboxes or news feeds causing people to unsubscribe and unfollow your organisation. But if you are going to set up subscriptions, you should also make sure donors can unsubscribe so they don’t feel locked in.
4. Thank You’s
A great and easy way to improve your relationship with your donors is by making sure you always thank them properly for their generosity. You can do this by sending a thankyou email, make sure the email is customised and includes their name to make it more personal. The more appreciated a donor feels the more likely they are going to want, to continue to give so make sure you tell them the impact every dollar makes to your organisations cause.
The most engaging thankyou’s are ones that include real stories about how the donations change lives. Try to include videos, images and links in your thank yous to remind donors how big of a difference they make.
For major donors you might even consider going a step further by writing a letter, making a personal phone call or sending a gift. Showing your appreciation after receiving a donation is the best way to show donors that you value their contribution.
5. Ask how your organisation is doing and review data
To ensure your strategy continues to work, you need to constantly review your data to make sure you are reaching your audience and receiving more donations. By reviewing the data you should be able to see if people are clicking on your emails or posts and make changes to ensure they do.
Another great way to review how your organisation is connecting with donors is by allowing donors to leave a note or feedback in the giving form. Giving them easy access to communicate with you about anything that might improve your organisation. You may also want to allow comments on your posts to encourage people to communicate with you on all channels so they know they are heard. While it is important to allow feedback you should always monitor it to make sure everyone is responded to. If people are trying to get in contact and are ignored, they may share their experience with others and damage your reputation. So always ensure you monitor all channels of communication and reply quickly even if it is just to let them know you’ve seen the message and will get back to them.
It is impossible to have a positive relationship with every donor but it is important that you keep these tips in mind to avoid losing crucial donations. Implementing small strategies to improve your organisation reputation when managing donors will take time but overall will help secure future recurring donations.
Did you find this useful? Do you want more information about any specific tool and how to master it? Let us know and we will make sure to cover it in one of our next numbers!