Develop a welcome package. A welcome package can include things like branded pens, notepads, magnets, stickers, and mugs to get people excited about working with you and let them know how much you appreciate them. They’ll be glad to get a gift, and it can also increase awareness of your organization as your materials are used.
Choose the best time to send messages. It can be difficult for donors to keep track of messages in every social media they participate in. Figuring out what days and times to send emails and post on social media can increase the likelihood that the donors will see it and be able to respond. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are generally good days, but weekends and late at night can also be prime times to catch people who are checking their email and scrolling through social media.
Seek to form influential partnerships. For-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations alike need networks and people with a variety of experiences in order to thrive. Learning from those who have done what you want to achieve or being able to simply follow their example can bring your nonprofit to places you cannot get to on your own. This also provides opportunities to form valuable friendships with quality people.
Take a donor or influencer out to lunch. A practical application of forming influential partnerships is treating a donor or influencer to lunch. Intentionally pursuing personal relationships with leaders, donors, and strong influencers shows appreciation and leads to more opportunities to help others. Learn how your organization has helped with their challenges. Ask if you have been meeting their expectations or if there are things your organization can do better. “Breaking bread” together fosters deeper connections, and face-to-face conversation can be much more powerful and memorable than online communication.
Re-engage lapsed donors. Review your list of donors, and reach out to those you have lost touch with, offering benefits or a reintroduction gift. Sometimes lapsed donors will want to get involved with your nonprofit again; you just have to reach out and re-engage. Remind them of your organization’s purpose and passion!
Offer donors a sustainer program. Ask donors to participate in a program that involves giving a certain amount to your nonprofit monthly. Rhythm and stability are important; donors need to be able to trust you and know that you’ll use their donations wisely. Plus, you’ll get a steady amount of support to sustain your ongoing efforts.
Practice good stewardship. Follow up with donors, and manage their money appropriately. Show them how their money is being used. As mentioned previously, donors like to know that they can trust you with their gift. Proving that you value their support and that you can use their donations properly increases their willingness to support you and share your message.
Remember: The donor is always right. If or when a donor expresses disappointment or points out flaws in your cause or service, make a diligent effort to make things right. Listen and respond to their concerns. Take responsibility, and be open to improvement. When your supporters are satisfied with your interactions, they’re more likely to have a long-term relationship with your organization.