10 Best Practices for Netting and Keeping Donors
4. Make it personal. Personalize the salutation, but also include details of the recipients’ most recent gift such as the amount that they gave, when they donated and the campaign they donated to in solicitation and thank-you letters. When possible, physically sign letters, hand write addresses on outer envelopes and use First Class stamps. Also, acknowledge any uniqueness to their gift, she said, such as whether it came from a family trust, through a neighborhood event or was designated for a specific purpose. “This level of personalization shows you are paying attention not only to the gift itself, but the donors’ intentions,” she added.
5. Be consistent. Understand the expectations that exist with different donors and the goals and limitations of your organization so that you can meet those expectations. Make sure you are consistent in your messaging, in the events you hold, in the communications vehicles you use and in the timing of campaigns. Communicate with donors any changes in what they’ve grown to expect from you. If the date that a special event is being held needs to change or if your organization has a new logo, communicate that with donors. Inconsistency can lead donors to doubt your organization. But “keeping the donors in the loop will strengthen their relationship with your organization and gives you another chance to touch your supporters,” Burton said.
6. Show donors how they’ve helped, without an ask. Share success stories when you thank donors to show how their contribution is making a difference, regardless of the gift size. Reiterate this in all subsequent donor communications like the newsletter, Web site, and e-mail and direct-mail solicitations. Doing this frequently is key. “Reaching out to your donors often and through a variety of mediums will help keep ‘top of mind’ awareness for your organization,” Burton said.