How to Revolutionize Your Nonprofit Culture to Stop Losing Your Donors
Devote a portion of every day to gratitude.
You can't simply pay gratitude lip service. You need a regimen. Ask everyone on your staff to participate. Ask your volunteers too. Show them the way. Here are a few ideas:
5 Actionable Tips to Instill a Gratitude Culture
- Keep a stack of five note cards on your desk. Each day, write a little thank you to someone who did you a kindness that week. At the end of the week, replenish your stock
- Set aside 15 minutes each day for thank you calls or texts or tweets (depending on the communication preference of your recipient). You don't have to call just major donors. Call anyone who strikes you as deserving of a little hug that week.
- Give your board members assignments to call and thank donors. I've found they love doing this, and it has the added benefit of getting them comfortable talking with donors (and on a path to becoming more comfortable with fundraising). When I did this, after a while folks actually asked me to give them these calls!
- Give your program staff assignments to call and thank donors. This helps them to understand the importance of stewardship as they, too, begin to see that donors are just people. Nice folks. Caring human beings who aren't stuffy or "above them" or anything else negative they may have imagined.
- Institute a practice of "TYIF" (Thank You It's Friday). Set aside some time every Friday for "TYIF" note-writing, thank you calls, texts, tweets, emails or whatever medium you think will do the job with your particular intended recipients. Imagine someone coming over the loudspeaker every Friday at 4:00 p.m. and saying "It's TYIF time!" You could even have some music piped in to set the proper mood.
The nonprofit/donor relationship is symbiotic.
If you like craft fairs, baseball games, art openings, vocal and guitar, and political conversation, you’ll like to hang out with Claire Axelrad. Claire, J.D., CFRE, will inspire you through her philosophy of philanthropy, not fundraising. After a 30-year development career that earned her the AFP “Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year” award, Claire left the trenches to begin her coaching/teaching practice, Clairification. Claire is also a featured expert and chief fundraising coach for Bloomerang, She’ll be your guide, so you can be your donor’s guide on their philanthropic journey. A member of the California State Bar and graduate of Princeton University, Claire currently resides in San Francisco.