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Make Your Donors Choose YOU as Their Favorite Nonprofit

Are your donors choosing your organization as their favorite nonprofit?

Wish they would, don’t you?

How creative can your thank you be?

I bet you are spending lots of time on planning those terrific solicitations to them.

But I bet you are NOT spending enough time communicating with your donors in between your solicitations.

Here’s our huge problem:  we are overemphasizing the Asking, and we are neglecting the Communicating.

I think it’s time fundraisers and board members tackled this issue head-on.

Why You Need a Donor Communications Plan RIGHT NOW

How we communicate with our donors has everything do to with whether they give again, and whether they keep giving.

Did you know that in recent years, overall only about 4 out of every 10 donors renewed their gifts. That means we are losing 60% of our donors every year.

Just think what your bottom line would look like if you could get more donors to renew!

Donor communications can make or break your fundraising program – hands down.

If your donors don’t feel appreciated, involved, supported, responded to, connected, and informed – then they probably will not make another gift to your wonderful cause.

So, what’s your communications strategy to keep your donors in the loop?

You need a plan to keep them close, warmed up – so they’ll be friendly when it comes time to ask again.

You need a plan to connect with them.

Create a systematic, month-by-month calendar for your donor communications.

In between your solicitations, what will you send them? What will you say to them?

Learn How to Craft a A Donor Communications Plan That Makes You Their Favorite Nonprofit

I am thrilled to have one of THE TOP international marketing experts as a guest for my next Master Class, next week on May 15.

Kivi Leroux Miller, the nonprofitmarketingguide.com guru, is giving us a brand new presentation - developed just for my followers  – that is packed with the very most cutting-edge communications strategies for nonprofits.

She is going to show you exactly how to connect with your donors, what to say (that’s always MY challenge!) when to say it.

Kivi will show us all how to make our donors choose US as their favorite nonprofit. Hurray!

So join us next week or find out more about this very special Master Class here. 

Here are my own tips on how to set up and roll out a smart communications plan – and I can’t wait to hear what Kivi has to say to amplify this!

How to Implement YOUR Communications Plan to Your Wonderful Donors.

1. Be Systematic.

Set up a calendar of what type of communication you are sending out and when it goes out.

Plan ahead and put somebody in charge.

Create themes and message ideas and get everybody to agree on them ahead of time.

That’ll save you lots of time and discussions later on!

2. Get Help.

If you are really smart, engage a terrific communications firm like Big Duck, or Agents for Good.

Ask them to help design a Donor Communications plan for the year.

A great communications consultant can come up with ideas that will charm the socks right off your donors.

Ideas you’d never think of.

3. Be Creative.

Come up with different ways to say thank you to your donors. Can you send a singing thank you telegram for example?

Donor Love can increase your donor’s trust in you and your organization.

Can you change your Annual Report into an “Accomplishments Report?”

Can you change your Annual Meeting into an Annual Celebration?

Can you change your Donor Appreciation Event into a cookout or a porch party?

4. Use lots of channels.

You have all sorts of communications channels at your disposal:  in person visits, phone, mail, all types of events, newsletters, acknowledgements, social media.

Use them all. Systematically.

Especially face-to-face visits.

5. Let your donors know how you spent their money.

Donor are having a lot of trust issues these days. They don’t trust the government, big institutions, politicians, nonprofits and probably not your organization either.

You have to earn their trust.

How?

By letting them know how you spent their money – as accurately and as transparently as possible.

6. Let your donors know what you achieved with their money.

(Note: this is different from “how you spent their money.”)

Can you be this warm and fuzzy with your donors? : )

This is about outcomes and your results.

How many people did you help? Or cure? Or feed? Or care for?

How many kids, or adults or elders? How many performances did you present? How many educational sessions with how many kids?

7. Get your tone right.

Lofty and formal is different from warm and fuzzy.

Yes, it’s ok to deviate from the formal, jargon-rich, lofty “nonprofit-speak” that you so often use to the rest of the world.

What’s the tone of your communications to them?

How personalized?

Yes, it’s ok to use contractions like I’m using in this sentence.

Yes, it’s ok to tell stories and to be casual.

By all means, be friendly!

Bottom Line:

It’s past time to add Donor Communications as a new formal element to your fundraising program.

You’ve GOT to stay in front of your donors – cheerfully – in between solicitations if you want them to keep giving!

What do you think? Let me know with a comment!

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  • dakotapam

    Thank you! As a brand new Development Director I’ve been working to get to know our donors, and now I have some actionable steps to keep them around. I still have tons to learn, but bit by bit I’m getting there!

  • Dottie B

    Imagination is good, but as a donor I can’t imagine anything that would send me away faster than a signing thank-you telegram!

  • Dottie B

    Make that “singing.”

  • gailperry

    Ha! You might be right! But some folks might like it if it is charming and funny and brief!

  • gailperry

    Terrific and glad you are ready to take action!