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6 tips for happier donors

Posted Sep 14 2009 9:54am
How can you make your donors feel better about what they are giving you?

Before asking for anything, if you can take the time to understand your donor's needs first, then your ability to keep your donors engaged increases. Look at this interesting graphic from QueerIdeas Blog that shows different types of donors. As you can see, donors have different reasons for donating to your cause.
Just like us, donors are all different. They have different needs, and they give in different ways. So here are 6 tips to have happier and better engaged donors.
  1. Get to know your donors | Spend time meeting and talking with your donors. If you can't meet them all one-on-one, work with other listening mechanisms, like surveys and observation, or engage volunteers as part of your Donor Management Relationship Team
  2. Donors are not all the same | Every donor is different. Some are donating because of personal reasons. Some have emotional ties. Some are just friends of friends. You don't know how the donor is until you ask (and listen). Also, while some donors might not like being called twice or three times a year for donations, others might.
  3. Talk about the donor rather than yourself | When interacting with your donors, spend time about them. What do they love? What do they need? When is their Birthday? And when talking, make sure to talk about the donor by articulating why the donor is so important to your cause. And, when possible, talk about what their donation is funding / achieving
  4. Use handwriting and personal touches | When delivering information or sending thank you cards, make your donor feel special. Adding pictures and mementos is a great addition. Use these to replace the standard printed pieces that you give to everybody.
  5. Talk to the donors interest | When asking for a donation, don't just pitch what you feel is most important. As an example, when finding donors for cancer, are your donors more interested in funding preventative research, or helping a child pay for for treatment? If you spent time listening, you can customize your ask to be more effective!
  6. Donors liked to be thanked | Phone calls, cards, special invitations and special treatment are all great ways to recognize your donors for all they give.
These tips are all inspired by QueerIdeas Blog - thanks for the great post!

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