Fundraising Best Practices: How to Communicate with Your Donors
Fundraising best practices are evolving. Organizations are recognizing the need to make some changes that allow them to communicate effectively with their donors, keep their supporters year after year, and raise more funds for their causes.
CauseVox recently brought together fundraising experts and nonprofit leaders to talk about fundraising best practices. They concluded that “The world we are fundraising in has changed and fundraising is built on relationships.”
Building Relationships with Your Donors
“When organizations fundraise today, they will be most successful when they respond to the needs and preferences of their donors and supporters,” says Heather Connolly, Vice President, Development & Community Partners at Operation Warm.
“There are a lot of great causes for people to be a part of, so it is genuinely heartwarming when they choose to support your mission,” Heather says. “One of the most important things you can do when fundraising is to make sure to build authentic donor relationships. Support your donors as much as they support you.”
Building good relationships with your donors starts with great communication. “To truly connect with donors and inspire them to become a part of the work that you do, you need to speak to them. Really speak to them,” says Caryn Stein, in an article for Network for Good. Stein is an expert in donor communication strategies.
Communication with Your Donors
Really speaking to your donors is one of the great fundraising best practices.
Creating that conversation with donors can inspire them to be part of your mission and help keep them involved. Share things that are interesting, meaningful and relevant to your supporters.
Don’t forget to listen to what your donors and supporters are saying back. Social media and email can be two great places to start conversations with your donors.
Top 4 Things You Need to Know About Fundraising and Communication
To keep in touch with your donors, there are four things to keep in mind before your next fundraiser. All four are related to good communication and conversation about your cause.
If you want someone to donate to your organization, just ask them. One of the biggest mistakes in fundraising is to assume that everyone knows about the need. If you don’t ask, your supporters may also assume—that your organization doesn’t need their support at this time.
You should never be too busy to thank your donors and supporters. A quick call, card or even an email can show your appreciation and continue the conversation.
Like any good relationship, you shouldn’t make a practice of only reaching out when you want something. Share your updates, newsletters and more. Let your donors and supporters know what is going on in the life of your organization. Otherwise, they may feel like ATM machines instead of a valuable part of your mission.
If you aren’t passionate about your cause when you communicate, how can you expect anyone else to be? Don’t be afraid to show how much you believe.
(To make it easy to reference these four fundraising best practices, we’ve put together a free fundraising infographic for you. You can download the full-size version here: Top 4 Things You Need to Know About Fundraising Infographic)
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