Engaging Donors when NOT Asking for Money

05/05/2009 at 09:30 2 comments


Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

mmj032375700001Ten ideas that don’t cost money – just a little time and worth the effort.

We all know we need to engage with our donors when we are not asking them for money. This means a regular communications and marketing plan that informs and inspires your donors to give often and generously.

“If what you want is advice, ask for money. If what you want is money, ask for advice.” Reynold Levy, president, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Start your outreach the moment you receive their gift and work backwards from there:

  • The thank you note: Try to send within 48 hours of receiving the gift. Write a personal note on it, ask volunteers, clients and co-workers to help. Create special thank you cards.
  • Celebrate with them: Do you know birthdates, anniversaries of your best donors? Send a card or note letting them know you remembered their special day. Did they have a baby, buy a house? Let them know you know.
  • News that interests your donors: In this day and age of electronic communications, you COULD segment your email list and create different versions of your electronic newsletter. Create different subject lines and content according to your donors’ interests. Make note of these interests in your donorbase so you can sort easily.
  • Speaking of interests: Tracking your donor preferences also allows you to notify them personally of an event or happening according to their interest. Call them, write a quick email, send a note with supporting information. An article you read, blog you saw.
  • Recognition: Determine how to acknowledge your donors. What do they want? How do they want recognition?  Donor lists are the norm, but what is it your donor wants?
  • Hard copy newsletter: Okay so you still mail these once, twice, four times a year. Again, pull from the mass mailing your best donors and send the newsletter with a handwritten note from your Executive Director, program staff or client as appropriate.
  • Donor receptions: Invite donors to events in their honor. Keep it simple. Share program or organization updates and let them know all is possible because of their generosity. Tie their gifts to real results.
  • Special events: Where and when appropriate and possible, invite select donors to attend one of your events. Better yet, if there is a community event, Mayor’s press conference, business meeting or club event, ask them to attend with you. Again focus on your donor’s interests. They may not attend, but will remember you asked.
  • Have a cup of coffee: Ask donor’s out for a cuppa. Just chat. Share information. Ask for advice or feedback on a piece of collateral, event ideas, annual report draft.
  • Social Media: Ask your donors if they tweet, blog, Facebook. Are they following, writing, reading or “friending” you and you them? Don’t guess, ask them. Social media is a two way street. Use the medium to amp up the communication.

Enjoy the process and remember, if you at your desk reading this, you aren’t out seeing donors!

Share your ideas or comments!

Entry filed under: Fundraising. Tags: , , , , .

Talk to Your Donors NOW! Before You Decide to Host a Special Event

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ava Newbart  |  05/05/2009 at 10:09

    Barbara,
    As always, you make excellent points in how to engage your donors. In these hard times, the more we personally connect with them, the better!

    Reply
    • 2. Barbara Talisman  |  05/05/2009 at 18:02

      Ava,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave your comment. I am glad you found the information useful.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Categories

Barbara’s Twitter Feed


Gippsland Unwrapped

Zero waste, plastic free and no palm oil. My life 'unwrapped' in Gippsland.

www.positivityblog.com/

Just another WordPress.com site

Annual Fund Lab

The Annual Fund Isn't Annual At All

nonprofitleadership

Leaders Not Managers

Susan Sink

life on these 80 acres

The Net Naturalist

A field guide to social media.

Good By Choice

philanthropy. kindness. insights. observations

Pretty Prints & Paper

Using the bullet journal and calligraphy to cultivate an intentional life

Passion Themed Life

multi-passionate mom learning as i go

buckwhiteboys

Life with Labs in Las Vegas

No Small Change

All things pertaining to communications, from the bunch of us at Barapani

Activate Learning Solutions

Learning Solutions that Activate Performance in Your Company

Clay Myers-Bowman

Producer, Photographer & Fundraising Consultant

Startups and Burritos

Mostly about startups but sometimes about burritos too.

Nonprofit Nate

Helping people help causes.

Talisman Thinking Out Loud

#Fundraising - Nonprofit Management - Food

%d bloggers like this: