Am I Dreaming?
There was a nonprofit still kinda new, that had so many donors it didn’t know what to do. . .and then you WAKE UP!
I understand you are busy, busy, busy but you have to find time to thank your donors, or you are going to have find the time to get new ones. Let your donors know how important they are and you might be surprised by just how generous they can be!
Even if you have a huge and supportive list of donors, chances are you aren’t meeting your fundraising goals. Most nonprofits have at least a few challenges finding new donors and keeping their existing ones. The statistics are a bit scary; according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy for every 100 donors gained, 103 are lost! And worse, for every $100 in new gifts, only $5 was an actual increase. Taking two steps backward for every step forward is not a recipe for success.
How do you make first-time donors into loyal supporters of your organization?
To generate loyalty, you must first thank your donors, and the sooner, the better. In today’s digital world of immediate response; there is no excuse for a delayed thank you. In this case, we are talking about a sincere thank you, not a generic tax receipt with ‘thank you’ on it (though they need that too).
Take advantage of the digital world and use social media as a conduit to express your thanks. A great way to say thank you is with a video post on social media and your website.
It doesn’t have to be long or fancy, (90 seconds or less) a compilation of staff or volunteers saying “Thank You” and ending with a group picture to show your donors how much you appreciate them. Tell them how their gift is helping at the specific program level and the impact it helped provide.
You can significantly up the impact by having the beneficiaries of your donor’s gifts appear in the video. That can truly be an emotional connection for your supporters. You may want to include a white board with some information about the use of their donations, again don’t go fancy – just the basic “because of your generosity we fed more than 5,000 meals to disenfranchised youth in our community”. Make sure to write big as most people will look at this on their cell phones.
As good as it can be, social media cannot replace personal communications. Of course, most organizations do a more personal thank you to their larger donors, but don’t forget the smaller ones completely. Dedicate a Saturday morning to having a volunteer (and Board Member) thank you call, calling as many donors as you have contact information for in three or four hours. A simple, personal thank you can go a long way towards getting your next gift. You never know who’s $10 gift today, can become $100 tomorrow and a $1000 the day after.