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March 18, 2017

How to Love Your Donors So Much They Keep Giving

love donors donor stewardship

Retention, long-term value, average gift, and revenue. You can increase these essential fundraising metrics (and all the others) by doing one thing — showing your donors you love them through on-going donor stewardship.

Here’s how to love your donors so much they keep giving:

  • Thank promptly and relevantly.
    The thank you gift receipt is one of the most underused fundraising tools. Either it doesn’t get sent at all, or it’s sent far too late. A prompt, grateful thank you is essential. Your donors deserve that. And make sure you always thank them for the same thing you asked for. Don’t change the subject!
  • Give your donors choices.
    Ask your donors how they want to be communicated with and how often. Don’t wait for them to complain that you’re sending too many appeals or contacting them by phone when they prefer mail. Give them the choice up front, including the option to join your sustainer and planned giving programs.
  • Keep communicating.
    Of course you want to honor your donors’ preferences, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking your fundraising is an intrusion. The truth is, most donors want to hear from you, even if they don’t give with every appeal. Stay in touch to keep the love flowing.
  • Send a newsletter.
    Because of its format, your newsletter is ideal for telling longer stories about how donors make a difference. Reporting back to donors about their impact is critical. It builds loyalty.

    To learn more about fundraising best practices for donor newsletters, check out this blog post. 
  • Focus on your donors.
    Instead of talking about the good your organization does, reframe it. Talk about the good your donors can do with their gift. Focus every communication on your donors — how they're helping, and the difference they're making.


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