Last Friday we had Part 1 of our February Webinar on the Best Ways to Show Love to Your Donors. It was a great turn out, and with so many informative talking points, we wanted to share some of them on our blog for our nonprofits’ viewing pleasure.
Showing love to your donors is all about conveying how much you really appreciate their contributions and how much you care about them as members of your community.
In Part 1 of the webinar, we outlined four ways to show your nonprofits how much you care:
Thank Them Promptly and Sincerely
How?: Start out by promptly sending your donors a thank you email that is separate from your donation receipt. There are ways to have a combined thank you email with your donor receipt, but if it only says “thank you” and doesn’t include the donor’s name or other personalized features, then you really should be sending out a separate email in order to send a more sincere message.
Next, tell them how their gift is changing or improving the services you provide as a nonprofit. Consider showing them the impact their gift is making with images or stories.
Also, if you don’t send a personalized thank you email right away, still send one. It’s better to send something late than never at all!
Start a Dialogue
How?: First, you should make sure you’re taking the steps to find out how your donors prefer to be contacted and then proceed to contact them in that way. Find out if they like to be invited to in-person events, then see if they like to be contacted over the phone or only contacted through email. Your respect for their preferences can really go a long way.
Ask them why they support your cause: It’s always nice to be able to ask this question face to face. Whether it be at an event or a supporter appreciation luncheon, you can use this opportunity to invite each of your supporters to share an experience.
Listen to their answers and you might find that what they’re sharing is more powerful than anything you could have put together on your own. plus, it’s a story that you can share with other potential and current supporters.
You can also ask donors to share their story through a survey you send and even mention that you want to showcase them in your next newsletter or on your website.
Requesting a social share is another good way to get your supporters interested in sharing their story, while also tapping into their personal networks. A good way to do this is to first share a story on social media from one of your supporters and then conclude by asking others to share their own stories.
Be a Responsive and Active Listener
How?: Monitor your social channels and emails to staff; find a place where you can keep track of popular suggestions or feedback from your donors. You could use a free project management tool like Trello or a spreadsheet to do this.
Make sure to send them a direct follow up that thanks them for their suggestions or feedback, and inform them of how you might move forward.
Also, if and when your organization formulates a response to feedback, that supporter should receive an update that they were heard and a change was initiated with their help!
Other ideas: If you get feedback about your donation form, for instance (maybe donors have said it’s not intuitive or that it’s too long), you should thank them for their feedback and then try making a donation to your own nonprofit using that form to see what your donor’s experience was like and how the form can be improved.
Create a Donor Appreciation Gift
How?: A popular example is a donor appreciation wall, where you dedicate a wall inside your building to your donors.
Donor appreciation walls don’t have to be elaborate or expensive to make. There are many great examples you can find on our Pinterest board. This is a great way to re-engage donors and show them you care about them!
Creating a virtual wall: If you don’t have an actual wall to work with, create a virtual one on your website and link to it from the email. An advantage to having a virtual wall is being able to use that page to also ask your visitors why they give and include a form they can fill out to have their answers shared on the wall! You can create a virtual wall to coincide with a physical one, too. This is something you should really get creative and have some fun with, so it’s a benefit to your supporters AND to you as an organization.
How to let them know: Once you have your wall up, email them and tell them why you made a wall and why you want to recognize them for their support. And for every new donor, you can take a photo or video of them being added to the appreciation wall and send it to them in your thank-you email.
You could also invite them to see the wall by holding a donor appreciation event. This could be in the form of a luncheon or ice cream social; whatever speaks to your organization!
For those who don’t want to make a wall, there are many other creative ways to show your donors that you care. Other gift ideas include personalized magnets and handmade letters or cards. For more inspiration, check out our Pinterest boards dedicated to inspiring nonprofits like yours.