Remember the childish joy you felt when you opened your presents early on Christmas morning? You were so absorbed by the new toys that you probably didn’t look over at your parents. Imagine how happy they were to see that they could make their child happy. They weren’t thinking about how much the gift cost or how much money they had in their wallets—no—at that moment, all that they cared about was the joy that they had been able to impart upon their child. It is the same way with donor relationships.

In the end, long-term donor relationships are not all about money. They’re about giving people the joy of knowing that they made a difference. And then they’re about thanking your supporters—and really meaning it too. If donors feel the impact of their charitable giving and then know that someone—you, beneficiaries—are grateful, then they will give again, and again, and again.

How can you achieve this? Well, first you need to truly know your donors. What do they passionately care about? And then, once you’ve found their passion, show them how their gifts make a difference. A simple “thank-you” email is not enough here—you must really and authentically show your donors that you’re grateful for their commitment to making a difference.

You need to think like your donors. Will they like your approach? How will they feel about this? Don’t use cultivation plans that suit you; use cultivation plans that would suit the donor. Finally, actively reach out to your donors. Every interaction they have with your nonprofit should be a satisfying one. It’s up to you to create a healthy, friendly organization that builds life-long donor relationships where they feel both the impact and gratitude that comes with making a difference.

See NonProfitPro for more advice.