8. Identify and activate your missionaries
Craver put forth these statistics: 84 percent of all donors prefer to be solicited by folks they know, and 20 percent of most donor databases comprise missionaries/recruiters, i.e., donors who want to and enjoy spreading the word about your mission. “It’s very important to design a plan to put these recruiters to work,” Craver said. "The missionaries who have a network of friends … social media should be tailored to them.”
How can you tell a missionary? “Look at their actions,” Craver offered. “People who tend to be most engaged, you can be 90 percent sure they’ll be missionaries.” Design a recruiting plan, and give them the tools — social-networking pages, widgets, peer-fundraising tools, etc. — to be missionaries on your organization’s behalf. “These are the folks who will really produce far more than they give,” Craver said.
9. Recognize and reward loyalty
“Donors who you can identify as loyalists give four times to five times as much as the average donor. [Keeping and garnering loyal donors] is a matter of financial survival and financial thriving,” Craver stressed.
The characteristics of loyalty don’t seem to fit any specific demographic, he said. Loyal donors tend to identify themselves as loyal by giving the same amount to every organization they give to. Craver suggested doing a very simple online survey to a new donor asking her about her support habits to other organizations. That way, you can quickly identify those who will be most loyal to you.
“You want to spend the most time and money with those people to reward that loyalty,” he said. How? Craver stressed that you don’t need a grand event. “What people like more than anything else is to know that they made a difference,” he shared.
Donors normally ask two questions when deciding to donate: Will my money make a difference, and did it make a difference? Implement a stewardship process that reports back to the donors on the impact of their gifts. Acknowledgment is key as well — anniversary cards (of gifts or membership), thank-yous, birthday cards, etc.