The success of a nonprofit depends largely on its reputation.  The way you interact with your donors — over the phone, in person, through your emails, your newsletters and even direct mail — often determines the commitment a donor has to your organization and ultimately impacts your retention rate.  No amount of outbound communication from your organization matches the power of a donor speaking positively on your behalf about your nonprofit to her friends.

When a donor becomes your advocate, speaking to others about your cause and their passion for what you accomplish, it sends an unwritten signal to others of credibility. This kind of word of mouth endorsement is golden!

How then, can you achieve this free donor endorsement? Well, you need to have a good reputation  and a clear goal and purpose that people can immediately identify with. Then, follow through on your goal with successful results that are changing lives.

Above all, you must be an accessible fundraiser. For instance, if people call your office with questions, help them out. Be cheerful and engaging—make them think, “Wow, these people truly do care.” Furthermore, show gratitude. Gratitude is one of the key components of a successful nonprofit. Donors love to hear an honest thanks; it reassures them that their money is in good hands. Finally, report back frequently on developments and goals reached. You should immerse your supporters in your work—make them feel like they really did help accomplish something.

If you follow all these key points, your donors will regard your organization as an honest, transparent and driven nonprofit organization that achieves results. People talk about the things they like; you can bet that if your supporters like you, they will certainly spread the word.

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