Ten small ways you can show your donors you care:
- When they send you an email or leave you a message, respond the same day. Even if all you say is, “I got your message and will get back to you tomorrow (or next week),” let them know that their concerns or needs are a priority.
- Send them articles about something they care about. It’s not difficult to hit “share” and when you do you are letting them know that you paid attention when they were carrying on about their obsession with podcasts or their passion for early childhood education. Bonus points when the article doesn’t have anything to do with your organization.
- Send a handwritten note. It can be to thank them for a gift, wish them a happy birthday, or check in to see if they survived dropping their first-born off at college. Taking five minutes (or less) to reach out the old-fashioned way will get their attention and show them you care about more than their checkbook.
- Ask their opinion. What do they think of a recent Facebook post? Do they like the gala invitation? Any ideas for strong Board prospects? Show them that you value what they think. Everyone loves to share his opinion. Give them the opportunity to do so.
- Invite them to visit. Ask them to come see a program in action; welcome students back from a break; meet a new staff person. Even if they decline the invitation, the fact that it was extended matters.
- Speaking of that new staff person…let them in on staff changes, exciting speakers, or big gifts before the news goes public. Getting information early makes them feel special, and you want your donors to feel special.
- Pay attention. When they make a gift, call them to say thank you before their official thank you note arrives. When their giving goes up, ask them what inspired the increase. If their giving goes down, care enough to ask about that as well.
- Engage in random acts of kindness. Drop off chocolates or fresh cut flowers just because.
- Thank them – often and in different ways.
- Thank them again (because you can never tell them enough that all your organization accomplishes is because of them).
Every day, do a little something that shows your donors they matter because little things really do mean a lot.
About the Author
Brigitte Roufail Peck is a true believer in philanthropy’s ability to transform the world. As the principal at Capstone Advancement Partners, she helps nonprofit clients build relationships, tell stories, and transform communities one donor’s dream at a time.