A core fundamental of fundraising is to build strong relationships with your core audience and donors. However, you need to question what you’re doing to keep those relationships strong, to build on those relationships, and create a lifelong follower or supporter. The usual temptation is to setup an automated protocol that sends out newsletters, fundraising appeals, or updates, to the donors with over-technical, un-personalized and over-worded text emails every week or so. This is not the engagement that donors need or deserve. Why? It’s boring. Boring your donors is a danger in any non-profit, and can be the determining factor in succeeding in fundraising and organizational growth.
If you get bored, they get bored.
When you read an email with the same type of communication that has been sent to you every week you get bored, and if you keep receiving that communication you will stop reading it sooner or later. Donors are just like you, they have the same reaction to overly cumbersome emails that are hard to read, and they will become apathetic as those emails keep coming at the same rate and in the same template.
As a fundraiser your responsibility is not bore your supporters! Make things interesting. “Don’t just send newsletters every month and consider your job done. People will get tired of them. Instead, send a newsletter every quarter, and in the other months, send special updates, surveys, event calendars, and links to photo collages from your most recent volunteer events.” (The Fundraising Authority)
Furthermore, it is necessary to make sure your communications are intimate. Your communications should be personal and conversational, with a lot of well-placed pictures and simple, user-friendly language.
Here are some tips for writing such communications: The 7 Fundamental Rules of Amazing Donor Communications.
What is your goal?
What is it that you hope to accomplish by appealing to your donors? Is it just to utilize them as a funding source? No, the goal should be to create and foster a formidable relationship that lasts as long as they are alive. You must develop an affinity with your donors so they will support you and become an advocate that creates more relationships with like-minded individuals.
One, to build an enduring relationship with your donor you must have a conversation with them. They must become emotionally or intellectually attached to your mission – it’s an appeal to the heart or mind or a combination of the two.
Two, you must make the relationship strong and not just a one-way process. It needs to be a dialogue, not a monologue. Weak or apathetic donors are only donors so long as their fancy holds. Strong relationships lead to greater commitment and higher levels of giving.
Lastly, the relationship should be sculpted to be a lifelong commitment on both sides. By creating a lifelong relationship with your donors you will not only have their financial support, but can depend on them for decades to support you as a volunteer, donor, and advocate spreading your mission far and wide. A consistent, dependable relationship with a donor is an incalculable resource.
Source via The Fundraising Authority.