7 Ways To Stand Out With Your Donors
Your donors don’t have time for you — until they do. How do you get to that “until they do” point in the relationship with your donors?
You have to stand out.
Your donors probably each have five to six other organizations trying to capture their attention in the same manner as you are. Then, they each have another 10 to 15 organizations wanting to start relationships with them.
So, the question is what are you going to do to stand out in your donors' minds, capture their hearts and have them always take your calls?
- Be authentic, be real — be yourself. Always.
- Tell the truth.
- Be a great listener who is perceptive to what your donors are saying to you.
- Ask questions of your donors like Oprah would — did you see her interview Megan and Harry? She made them feel comfortable so that they could be vulnerable, and she was curious, empathetic and compassionate in the conversation. The more you allow that space in your conversations with donors, the more they will tell you what they are truly passionate about and why.
- Build touch points that show the donors you know them into your strategic plan. Perhaps, they mention to you that they are interested in Civil War history. You are then actively seeking out information and tidbits about that interest and passing it on to your donors.
- When you report on the impact of their gifts, make those interactions as personal as possible. Invite a program staff person to speak personally with the donor. Anything that will make the donor feel like, “Gosh, they really went out of their way to show me how my gift made a difference.”
- Always thank your donors promptly and properly — have a system set up in your organization that if any of your portfolio donors send a gift, you are notified immediately so you can call to thank them. Then, make sure that the thank you is appropriate for the size of the gift and what you know the donor is comfortable with.
I’m going to be totally honest with you. If you do these seven things, you will stand out with your donors. Why? Because in all the years Richard and I have been working with major gift officers, the majority of them are not doing these seven things. The stories we hear from donors and how organizations have treated them is appalling.
And the donors move on and give elsewhere.
Be and do these seven things and you and your organization will be top of mind always with your donors. It sounds so simple, yet it takes hard work, which is why the majority of front-line fundraisers and their organizations don’t stand out in donors' minds and hearts.
Will you stand out?
If you like baseball, tennis, golf, Gregorian chant, jazz, rock, good wine and deep conversation, then you’ll like to hang out with Jeff.
If you are passionate about fundraising, Jeff will inspire you to be a true “broker of love” for your donors, helping you bring together a donor’s desire to change the world and the world’s greatest needs. Jeff believes that if nonprofits truly want to grow and obtain more net revenue for their mission, it will come through creating, building and successfully managing major-gift programs. The Connections blog will give you inspiration and practical advice to help you succeed. Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit fundraising experience and is senior partner of the Veritus Group.