5 ideas to stengthen donor relationships for professional nonprofit fundraising | Call Center Toronto Canada | Miratel Call Center Toronto | Miratel Solutions

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5 ideas to stengthen donor relationships for professional nonprofit fundraising

Professional Fundraising Service providers should always be examining methods to improve their donor relations, building that communication via all means available is an key ongoing component to maintaining and expanding the commitment from your supporters. Creating and exploring new avenues to increase communication is absolutely vital when it comes to securing the support of your donor base but equally important is just what information you decide to communicate.

Research consistently shows that a primary reason for donor support to dissipate or even cease is the perceived lack of engagement and information provided to the donor by the charity. Finding the right blend of what you communicate, how often you communicate and which channels are used to communicate should be key objectives for a nonprofit looking to cement the relationship with donors. Personalized communications with donors so often rely on the two staples of fund-raising etiquette; the request for funding and a ‘thank you’ for support. Those components are as necessary as air and water to the life of your organization but making sure additional contact is made throughout the year will add value to a relationship and help it last. If the communication is always seeking funding to becomes a little like that friend you may have who only ever gets in touch with you when they need help followed by intermittent periods of silence. That probably doesn’t work for you and nor will it work for your donor base over an extended period of time. It’s surely something you have to apply a strategy to and ideally you are already in the midst of it, but taking the time to find practical and creative reasons to contact your audience which don’t involve the two key points outlined above will furnish you with a more informed donor who will have a far stronger understanding of the organizations latest news and importantly your personality too. Let’s look at some other reasons when you can contact your donor base.

Organizational news: Your nonprofit is never standing still, the application of funding and the changing needs of your cause result in your daily business being drastically different than it was six, 12, or 18 months ago. It’s impossible to know what’s the primary concern of all of your donor base, don’t assume. Take the time to chronicle internal changes about your organization, whether it comes to staffing, new projects, funding achievements or strategic changes all of which can be compiled in a regular newsletter and shared with your audience. The frequency of the communication should be in keeping with the amount of news you have to share but studies show that the more informed a donor feels the level of engagement rises in turn.

Seek feedback and opinions: If your organization is contemplating making changes of a strategic nature where more than one alternative looks viable, take the time to contact your donors and seek their opinions. While of course many may not respond there are also a good percentage who not only would value their opinions being heard but there is every chance they have an excellent solution with ideas that support it.
Share success: If your organization has reached a landmark in funding, completed a project or launching a new program share that always. For a donor to know that their contribution has helped push a project over the finish line or been an integral part of providing improved services is one of the key factors for their involvement in the first place.

Follow up: If a donor has contacted your organization about any sort of matter you will naturally have replied at the time addressing his or her concerns, ideas of offered clarification. What is truly engaging is taking the time a later date of perhaps three or six months down the road to follow up and if necessary explain any subsequent changes as a result of the initial communication or indeed just to say thank you for being part of the solution. Also critical is following up with one-time donors who were inspired in the first place to contact your organization and make a donation, but do they really know about the impact that their donation made. You’ll know which circumstances that this applies to, but the ability to provide follow-up information about the positive impact of their donation will further build that new relationship.

Invitations and collaborations: Depending on the scale of your organization and the location of your supporters this has varying degrees of practical application but offering donors the opportunity to be involved not just fundraising events but coffee luncheons, question and answer sessions or award ceremonies. These situations each provide a welcome chance for your donor base to meet you face-to-face, share ideas or even become volunteers within your organization.

Technology updates and training: While we tend to assume that virtually everyone is familiar with Facebook or Twitter, using online contact forms or making donations these assumptions can often be poorly held. The reality is that many people still have never used social media and to some extent the capacity of the Internet itself beyond perhaps looking up news or weather. When you launch or refine a new service announce it to your donor base but don’t feel shy about also offering step-by-step instructions as to how one can participate in the process and also specifically why you made the changes in the first place.

This list is by no means comprehensive but should provide a few ideas that would be easy to implement and add to your current e-mail or letter strategy, each providing an additional opportunity to forge deeper donor relations.

What do you currently do and what would you suggest to add to the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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