Tips for Engaging Major Donors
Most nonprofits receive the majority of their funding from major donors. Engaging major donors is a must. These donors want to have a connection and make an impact with your organization.
How your nonprofit creates engagement with major gift prospects and current donors can make a huge difference in your organization's ability to convert and retain your biggest stakeholders. In order to be successful with major donors, your nonprofit will want to engage them both offline and online. Here are a few tips to consider.
Ask for Feedback
Feedback (both positive and negative) is extremely important to the success of your nonprofit organization. Leveraging feedback can allow your organization to find out both positive and negative aspects of your fundraising program in the eyes of your key stockholders.
Identifying and addressing pitfalls will make your nonprofit’s campaigns, messaging, process and brand stronger. Creating avenues for feedback could not be simpler. Here are a few ways you can capture feedback online from your major donors:
- Add designated feedback forms to your nonprofit's website and provide links to your major donors.
- Send personalized email surveys to your major donors requesting program feedback.
- Check your nonprofits social accounts and review sites for feedback from donors.
- Invite major donors to a Facebook Live chat and/or webinar to discuss their questions or concerns.
Connect Online and Offline
One of the most overlooked ways to engage with major donors is to bridge the gap between them and your nonprofit’s executive team. Personal invitations online from executives to major donors can go a long way in creating trust and transparency. Doing so will also help to ensure that a major donor feels part of the nonprofit organization itself.
If your nonprofit has not considered doing this in the past, a good place to start is LinkedIn. Organizations can use LinkedIn to find major donors, send personal invitations and share their profile updates.
Another tip for engaging major donors is to create and add them to an exclusive online group. This group can be another opportunity to share nonprofit updates, gather feedback, share upcoming fundraising opportunities and create a sense of community for your stakeholders. Many major donors also like the exclusivity that a private group can provide. Here are a few online platforms that can be used to set up private groups for your major donors.
- Facebook. Offers closed groups that can be created.
- LinkedIn. Users can create by-invite-only group pages
- Website. Nonprofits can create password-protected website pages for major donors
Provide Rewards and Recognition
Developing a strategy to incorporate rewards and recognition into your major donor (don’t forget non-major either!) engagement plan is a must. Donors want to feel recognized for their contributions toward your nonprofit's mission and goals. Providing donors with a rewards and recognition system does not need to be challenging. Here are a few ways to recognize your organizations, major donors:
- Feature major donors on your nonprofit's website (make sure to ask them first).
- Send major donors personalized thank-you cards or handwritten notes.
- Schedule times to talk to major donors and provide them updates on organization goals and new opportunities.
- Invite major donors to a party or networking event (send digital/print invites).
Nonprofits rely on the support of major donors to help them achieve their mission and goals. How your nonprofit engages them could mean the difference between hitting those goals or not. Make sure that your organization is leveraging digital to reach and engage with major donors.
Eric Burger is the director of marketing for BetterGood, an organization that creates exciting products, including VolunteerHub, that help organizations touch lives and make an impact within their communities. Eric has worked in the business-to-business software industry for eight years and has more than 12 years of experience in digital marketing.