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Saying ‘Thank You’ To Donors

Saying ‘Thank You’ To Donors

Maintaining a personal, consistent connection with donors is a key part of any long-term fundraising strategy. One of the most effective but often overlooked elements: the thank-you message.

You know you want to thank every donor. But do you think about how to write the message? Or when to send it?

The folks at Eleo software have a short, to-the-point post that provides excellent guidance.

Simply put, your replies should be prompt, personal, and real. (Eleo adds “warm and fuzzy” as a fourth category, but we believe that “personal” covers this pretty well.)

Some details on what the strategy entails:

Prompt: You urge, prod, and sometimes beg donors to meet your deadlines. Maybe it’s a year-end push, or a specific campaign that will net you matching donations. Their timely responses should be met with an equally timely thank-you message.

Personal: Donors make a conscious decision to join your cause. Make them feel appreciated as individuals. Use their first name, and include any information—location, life experiences, reasons they answered your call—that you have that helps the donor feel special.

Real: People donate to causes to help people (or animals)—not to support the organization itself. It might sound like semantics, but it’s an important part of recognizing what motivates a donor. So when you respond, do so as a person, not an organization. Be conversational, not corporate. Be humorous or even vulnerable, as appropriate.

Eleo takes a deeper dive on the thank-you note’s basics. Check it out here.

Are Your Donors Fans?

Growing your donor pool is something we cover a lot here at Grassroot—whether it is identifying data patterns or crafting your messaging.

But one of the best ways to grow your donor pool is to have current donors do it for you. That means cultivating a level of loyalty that motivates your donors to spread your message. Put another way, turn them into fans—your fans!

The American Marketing Association (AMA) has an extensive post on the topic, including a deep dive into understanding why donors become fans. It’s a useful read for anybody who helps craft donor-outreach strategy.

AMA also has a simple formula for turning donors into advocates. AMA’s “Three Cs” breakdown goes like this:

1. Know your CUSTOMER. Specifically, what makes them donate to your cause?

2. Develop a COMMUNITY around your mission. Connect with your donors, and help them connect with each other, whether it is digitally (think social media hashtags) or in person (think special events).

3. CELEBRATE your donors, not your organization. Everyone likes recognition. Instead of lauding your fundraising totals, pull out specific stories that help donors connect to the cause they are supporting, and always, always recognize donors (so long as they are OK with being name-checked!).

Take a deeper dive by reading the full AMA blog post here. (https://www.amatriangle.org/blog/how-to-turn-donors-into-raving-fans/).

How Donor-Centric is your Organization?

More Than a Buzzword

Welcome to another issue of Donor-Centric. We produce and send this resource out to friends in the non-profit sector with the hope that you’ll find it useful and stimulating.

cover4-16webOver time, we try to address many of the challenges you’re facing. In this issue, however, we’re talking about the subject that first gave this newsletter its name. Being “Donor-Centric” has become one of the great “buzzwords” in recent years. But that does not mean that the idea is fully understood or, more importantly, actually applied.
Clarity is the first step. Our Five Question Test and Simone Joyaux’s Donor-Centric Pledge are offered up as a yardstick for you to evaluate your own organization. As always, if we can be of further help, call us!

Segmentation – It Really Is All About Who You Know

Good journalists apply a formula to ensure that every story has all pertinent facts by always including “the five Ws and the H” – Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Notice that Who is first on the list. That’s a very important fact – Who is at the crux of the story?

Unfortunately, many fundraisers forget about “who” is at the crux of their fundraising efforts when it’s time to send out a big mailing. So much time is spent developing the offer, writing and rewriting the appeal letter; deciding on whether programs are accurately and adequately described; debating about which cuddly photos are the most compelling to use, that one vital element is forgotten…the recipient.

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