As fundraisers, we aim to achieve – and ultimately exceed—our annual fundraising goals. But too often, we forget that it’s our organization’s donors who help us to achieve these goals. Here are three simple ways to deepen your relationship with your donors to raise more funds:
Show them you truly care. When times are tough, reach out to your donors. When you receive feedback from them regarding your organization, show them you’re actually listening by making a genuine effort to address their concerns. And report back. Don’t give donors any reason to find another cause to support. They have already shown they care about your cause!
Plan seven touch points each year. At the beginning of the year, schedule seven different ways to connect with your donors. Be sure that you include a variety of channels – direct mail, email, social media, phone calls, in-person meetings, and event-related communications. And most importantly, be sure that every touch point is not an ask for money. Be strategic and come up with reasons to connect with high-level donors on a semi-annually or quarterly basis. And if possible, always, always, always hand-sign thank you notes.
Continuously show gratitude. Even if a donor hasn’t made a gift in a while, continue to thank them. If your budget allows, consider sending lapsed donors a small gift. People are more likely to open mail that is heavier and larger than the standard letter. And let’s face it, unopened appeals simply don’t lead to donations. They end up in the recycle bin.
You spend time and effort building relationships with your colleagues, clients, and vendors. You make an effort to network and build relationships with fellow fundraisers at professional development events. Why wouldn’t you exert the same amount of energy to build deeper relationships with your organization’s donors?
By- Jamie Sargent