As the year draws to a close, you’re probably worrying about how much you will raise and how many donors will give again this year.  According to the most recent Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the number of donors retained by the average nonprofit is very discouraging.  Some organizations are seeing a decline.  So the question for you this season is how can you successfully retain a high percentage of donors and also raise the funds you need to operate?

The answer lies largely in two words: effective communication. The way you communicate with your donors will help determine how many you retain and the funds you raise.  Good communication that is relevant, simple and compelling is attractive to most people. Conversely obtuse, complex, and pedantic language is not.

This means you will need to speak to donors’ person to person, be authentic, and share the impact your organization is making throughout the world, but in simple terms.  Donors are human. The old adage to treat others as you want to be treated holds deep meaning in fundraising.

Do you like gimmicky fundraising? Do you like to hear about the organization itself or the impact the organization is making? Do you like convoluted language or do you prefer simple, clear communication? Do you like cliché language like “Well, it’s once again time for the annual appeal here at XYZ org…”?

If you are like most people, including your supporters, you don’t like these either.

There is still time. Rework as much of your upcoming digital and print communications to be simple, direct, authentic, and human.  It will be appreciated by your donors.

See Network for Good for more about this topic.