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5 Ways to engage your donors

Written by Jolanda Konarska

It is essential that Non-profits maintain a good balance between trying to attract new donors and retaining the loyalty of their current donors. Here are five ways to engage with your donors!

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You won’t need me to tell you that getting donors to freely give to your non-profit is extremely challenging. To engage donors and get their support always involves a lot of preparation and data analysis to get across your aims and ambitions. If that is not challenging enough, persuading your donors to give to your organisation again year after year is the ultimate goal.

It is essential that Non-profits maintain a good balance between trying to attract new donors and retaining the loyalty of their current donors. The good news is that every Non-profit has the power to both recruit and retain donors. The 5 steps I have put together below should help make this a lot easier!

Assess and evaluate your donor communication

This won’t be easy and quick to do, but it is essential that you read every email, letter, update, and any correspondence that your donors have sent you in the recent past. Make sure you take note of how quickly your team replied to their communications and precisely what the questions/data was that they requested. This approach will help you to identify what is really important and how often they like to be contacted. So, by examining your donors in this manner, it will be much clearer in the future how to meet their requirements before they ask! Maintaining effective communication will ensure your donors feel more than just a cash dispenser at worst, but a valued and integral part of your success story. Never miss an opportunity to share with donors any successes.

Identify your donor retention rate

Following on from my last point, take a look separately at the donors who are your repeat givers and those who aren’t. What are the differences? Try to use your data and any insights you have and investigate why they have not decided to donate again. Was it a lack of communication? Or lack of impact? Identifying this gap will help you to engage your current donors.

Ask your donors

Part of your Non-profit’s work may be to open up a dialogue in your community. So why not open up a dialogue with your donors? Don’t be afraid to ask each of your donors what their motivation was when making a donation. Both negative and positive feedback is crucial to future success. Starting these conversations will strengthen the relationship you have with your donors and it will give you some valuable insights. Perhaps request feedback from your donors next time you meet up or even through an e-mail. You will soon understand what approach suits them. All responses are valuable, even a ‘no’ response!

Create new ways to thank your donors for their support

I’m sure that all Non-profits show their gratitude for the support of their donors, but it is in this area that you have the opportunity to get creative. It is your chance to stand out. Going down the personalisation route is great and will add that special touch. Take some time out with your own team to brainstorm ideas that might make your donors feel engaged and valued.  A few examples of such ideas could include:

  • Handwritten notes to commemorate a mutual anniversary.
  • A small get-to-together with non-profit and donor members to get to know each other on a less formal basis.
  • A casual phone conversation to ask how the donors are getting on. This can make a big difference. Keep it positive and upbeat.

Research or evaluate your processes for managing donor data

How do you store data and communications from your donors? How do you remind yourself when they need contacting? There are lots of different ways (and software tools) that will allow you to do this. However, if you don’t use any system or rely on your email calendar for reminders, then maybe it’s time to streamline this process.

Staying on top of your communications with each of your donors is essential to keeping and maintaining the relationship you have with them. A tool like Mantle will not only allow you to track all of the two-way communications you have with each donor, but it will also enable you to set up reoccurring diary reminders to ensure that they are updated regularly of the non-profit activities. Collating formally such data using Mantle will reduce the need to hold catch-up meetings with your team as your donor communications can be accessed by your selected team members from orderly records.

We hope these tips will help you to engage your donors even more!

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