20 Ways to Be Donor-Centric
14. Be incredibly transparent
Give donors access to all the financial and governance information possible. Post your financial statements, 990s, even minutes from board meetings. Answer their questions honestly and in detail. The watchdogs require a certain level of transparency. Do more than they require. Few donors want or need that much detail. Your willingness to be open is what matters.
15. Let all your donors make a difference
When you ask, find ways to make your cause bite-sized for donors at every giving level. If you ask a million-dollar donor to fund your mission, it might be in her scope to do so. If you ask the same of a $100 donor, you make him a tiny fish in a gigantic pond. Ask Mr. Hundred to do something meaningful that costs around $100. Every donor wants to do something big. But big is defined by his or her capacity, not your mission.
16. Make giving easy online
Most fundraisers have mastered the mechanisms of direct-mail giving. However, complex, confusing and crazy donation forms are common online. Giving online should be easier than giving through the mail, not harder.
17. Make it easy for donors to find a human
If a donor has a question, can she quickly and easily get an answer? Through phone, e-mail and mail? Make it easy to find those channels, and don't send them to busy signals or unmonitored inboxes.
18. Encourage donors to talk to you
Good fundraising is a relationship, and that means communication. Ask donors to comment or question. Give them specific prompts. Make room on your reply forms for them to write.
19. Listen to complaints, but don't let them drive the ship
Every complaint is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship. But don't take complaints as marching orders. Remember: Three or four people complained. Hundreds or thousands wrote checks. Talk is cheap. Donations aren't. Pay more attention to affirmations that actually cost people to make than complaints that don't cost anything.