The start of a new financial year is the perfect time to implement good habits and give your donors a bit of extra love at the same time. We all know that a happy donor is likely to become a loyal one.
Respond promptly & personally – The more promptly and personally you respond to your donors, the more valued they will feel. Something as simple as a personal note on a donation receipt or an acknowledgement of your last meeting in an email response, will show the donor that you see them as a valuable contributor rather than a source of income.
Offer great customer service – Your donors are just as valuable as retail customers (perhaps even more so), so make sure you give them a warm, genuine and positive experience. Any member of staff interacting with donors or prospective donors should be trained to treat them with the reverence and gratitude they deserve. All staff should be familiar with your organisations elevator pitch or fundraising vision statement and know where to direct specific fundraising enquiries they cannot deal with themselves.
Involve as well as ask – One of the lesser-known rules of fundraising is “involvement breeds investment.” When you involve your donors in your work, you strengthen their connection to your cause, deepen their understanding of your vision and drive their motivation to give. So once in a while, ask donors for something other than money – invite them to volunteer, provide feedback (via a survey, interview or focus group), share a post on social media, spread the word amongst family and friends or take action to help your cause.
Record and respect their communication preferences – There is a fine line between informing and hounding your donors, and that line is not the same for every person. That is why it is a good idea to ask donors about their communication preferences in terms of channels, content and frequency. Once you have that information it is critical you record it and respect it. There is no quicker way to lose a donor than to ignore their specific request.
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