It is critical while donors are socially distant, that we keep them close and connected to our causes. As well as focusing on what motivates people to give, we need to be mindful of the things that may deter them.
At OKP Philanthropy & Marketing, we not only support the sector with our expertise and advice, we are also philanthropists giving to a wide range of charities and not-for-profit organisations. Here are the most common mistakes we witness as donors…
1) Insincere thanking – Studies have shown that insincere thanking has the same effect as not thanking at all. The thank you or receipt letter is a valuable opportunity to bring your donors into the fold and help them to feel part of something big and important.
2) Too much communication – While keeping your supporters engaged and informed is vital to building long-term donor relationships, quantity is no substitute for quality when it comes to communication. When you speak to your donors, you have to have something relevant, interesting or important to say or they will stop listening.
3) Being too presumptuous – As a donor, having a charity assume your donation is the start of a long and fruitful relationship feels like talking about marriage on the first date. Just like dating, you need to take the time to get to know a new donor and be respectful of their decision if they are not after a long-term commitment.
4) Making every interaction an ask – when there is an ask attached to everything you do, you risk donors feeling like at ATM. Make sure you build opportunities to connect and build relationships into your donor communication plan. Donors need to feel they are in a two-way relationship where both parties get something out of the partnership.
Bonus…5 simple ways to better connect with your donors
- Invite them to follow you on social media so they can stay up to date with all your latest news.
- Pick up the phone every now and again – you cannot underestimate the power of personal connection.
- Use video to share and showcase exciting achievements or plans.
- Get donors involved in a non-financial capacity for example seek feedback on a new program, initiative or piece of collateral.
- Take your donor events online.