What Impact Are You Making on Your Donor?
At Veritus, we believe that creating strategic plans for every donor in your portfolio is critical. All 240 major gift officers who we directly work with all have a plan that will guide them toward achieving their revenue goals.
Part of that strategic plan is creating and sending touchpoints that will help the donor understand the impact of their giving.
Richard and I talk often about the importance of telling the donor “You Made a Difference” — or “YMAD” for short. It’s vitally important because it’s the number one reason donors either stop giving or reduce their giving to organizations. “I didn’t know what they did with my gift,” the donors say, so they go somewhere else to make an impact.
But the question I want to ask you today is, “What impact are you making on your donor this year?”
Going back to your strategic plan for your donors, I find that it’s easy to get a bit lazy in the touches you send out or how you connect with a donor. I mean, it’s hard to come up with great touchpoints and if you don’t watch it, it’s easier to say, “Well, I’ll just put a little note on a newsletter and call it a day.”
However, if you were to think about the impact you want to make on the donor, you might spend more time and care thinking about how to make their experience with your organization a great one.
Let’s go back to our overarching belief about major gifts. It’s to help the donor fulfill their passion and interests, so the donor can experience joy in their giving. To do that properly, you have to build a relationship of trust. To do that, you have to show the donor you are genuinely interested in helping them experience that joy.
What does that mean to you?
Have you thought about what kind of impact you and your organization can make with your donor that will lead to that joy beyond them making a gift? Let me ask you a few questions about your donors:
- Do you know each of your donors’ stories?
- Do you know not only their passion and interests, but why they have them?
- Do you know why they give to other organizations?
- Do you know what their fears and anxieties are? Do you know what they worry about?
- Do you listen to your donor so well that you can surprise them by serving them in unique ways?
- Do you think about how you can help your donor beyond what’s “in it” for your organization?
Richard and I believe that if you are truly serving your donors, you are consciously trying to make a positive impact in their life.
So when you do your yearly planning, what are you doing to make that impact? Not just what are you doing to show them how your organization is making an impact and all the great stuff your nonprofit is doing, but how are you impacting your donor’s life?
I know that if you can look at IMPACT in those two different ways this year, one about the impact of their gifts and the other about what impact you will make on the donor, you see those relationships deepen and giving increase.
Making an impact on your donor is your ultimate gift to them.
Jeff Schreifels is the principal owner of Veritus Group — an agency that partners with nonprofits to create, build and manage mid-level fundraising, major gifts and planned giving programs. In his 32-plus year career, Jeff has worked with hundreds of nonprofits, helping to raise more than $400 million in revenue.