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Show Donors the Love!

by Amanda Foster, Account Manager & Libby Sinback, Account Manager

Most nonprofits rely on donors to support their organization and its mission. Because donors have gotten involved with you with their dollars, they are often some of your strongest supporters -- so it is extremely important to show your donors you care deeply about them.

Overall, paying attention to the needs of donors is the prime way to ensure they keep giving. Their needs, and not necessarily yours, are what motivate them to give and get involved. So having your donors in mind in as many of your communications as possible is crucial.

Taking a donor-centric approach to communications is essentially about shifting the spotlight from touting what your organization to touting how individual donors can be empowered, how they can be rewarded, the ways in which they make a difference, and the roles they play in your community.

How can you show some donor love in your messaging?

  • Send a Thank You Message! Send thank you notes as soon as possible; in Salsa, you can set up an autoresponse that goes out immediately to anybody who donates online and by exporting recent donors, you can send something in the mail. In Salsa’s pledge management package, you can even send a thank you note for setting up a pledge. If you have the ability, even add in a gift if you can; even something small like a magnet can go a long way.
  • Be Personal. Refer to donors by name. Salsa has merge fields to put in almost any information about the recipient in e-mail to them. For instance, if you want to say “Dear Amanda, thank you for giving $25” (thus setting up merge fields for name and amount), you can. If you do not know how to set up these fields, simply contact Salsa support.
  • It’s all about You, not Us. Say “you” more often than “us.” It is your donor’s money you will use to run the campaign so let them know they in particular are important. Headlines like “What you Can Do,” “How you can Make a Difference,” or “How your Gift has Helped XYZ Appeal” often work well.
  • Let Donors Say where the Money Goes. When you can, let donors choose where their money goes. You can create multiple donation pages in Salsa if you have multiple campaigns running at once. One precaution here: most donors would more quickly donate on the “Puppy Rescue” campaign than the less exciting “Keep the Lights On at X Organization” campaign. So, do this one with caution.
  • Stand out During the Holidays. Send greeting cards or e-cards creatively. Instead of a standard “Happy Holidays,” let donors know what a difference they’ve made throughout the year.
  • Monitor Lapses. Keep an eye on donation history; if a donor has lapsed, send them a gentle reminder about the difference their last gift made, and remind them of the ongoing need of the cause you serve. Salsa has “LYBNT (Last Year But Not This)” and other similar reports. If you need a custom report and it is not working quite right for you, feel free to contact our support team.
  • Encourage Donors to Get Involved. Let your donors know how they can make a difference beyond their financial contribution. Inversely, let volunteers know about your fundraising campaigns. Moving people up the ladder of engagement is crucial to get and retain active supporters.

How are you showing your donors the love? We’d love to hear about your donor-centric approach to communications – leave a comment below!

Topics: Fundraising