Your organization does a lot — and you have a lot of information to share. With events, volunteer opportunities, fundraising priorities, and more, it’s hard to make sure everything is communicated to your donors. This often leads to trying to squeeze information into a communication that is slated for delivery … even if it doesn’t fully make sense. Like adding information about your upcoming event in a direct mail appeal.
The problem, though, is that what feels like an information share can end up being a fundraising deterrent. With so little time in direct mail and digital appeals to inspire and ask, an extra piece of information can very easily derail the focused energy you worked so hard to create.
So next time, instead of throwing the kitchen sink into your appeals, consider these 4 effective methods for information sharing:
- Newsletters (Direct Mail & Email): Newsletters are the perfect vehicle for information sharing. In fact, that’s their purpose! Yes, the majority of the sharing should be about donor impact — stories, photos, and infographics — but there’s certainly room for organizational updates like events, volunteer opportunities, or planned giving ads.
Bonus: E-newsletters provide an excellent opportunity for “sign-up” needs, as you can link recipients directly where you want them to go. Learn more about the best maximum impact ratio for your donor newsletter.
- Acknowledgements: Here, you won’t be interrupting the donor’s path to making a gift, because their transaction is already complete! Acknowledgements are the perfect place to make sure your committed donors receive key information and updates. Rotating insert content in your acknowledgements can create a cost-efficient, year-round way to share information.
Bonus: Depending on the content you plan to share, many of your inserts could be printed in bulk to be pulled off the shelf and inserted once per quarter. For example:
a. January Acknowledgements: Include a Monthly Giving Insert
b. February Acknowledgements: Include a Planned Giving Insert
c. March Acknowledgements: Include a Volunteer Opportunity Insert
d. April Acknowledgements: Include a Monthly Giving Insert
- Digital “Thank You” Page: Similar to direct mail acknowledgements, your post-transaction “Thank You” page can serve as a great information-sharing space. Depending on your platform’s capabilities, this could be as simple as text on the page, or as bold as a pop-up. And if you’re managing your own website updates, you can cost-effectively update content by the minute, if needed.
Bonus: In addition to the “Thank You” window, you can also use your digital auto-responder to bring donors additional information. Making a donation can be a very emotionally connecting experience. Receiving information about an event or volunteer opportunity in their auto-responder may even hit the donor at their highest affinity to interact.
- Targeted Communications: If all else fails and there’s something that needs to be shared, consider a targeted communication just for that information. This could be through direct mail, email, or even calling your donors. Depending on the channel you choose, you’ll want to keep in mind the timing and audience:
Timing: What other communications are going out to this audience? You’ll want to coordinate your multichannel appeals to ensure donors aren’t receiving too much information at the same time.
Audience: Is this information that should be targeted to a subset of your file (instead of an e-blast to everyone)? For example, if you’ve created a targeted planned giving mailing, it would be most cost efficient to tailor your select to an older demographic.
Your donors care about your mission — and want to hear from you! — just not everything all at once. Using the resources above to information-share without accidentally overwhelming will create a better recipient experience, and therefore a better response.
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