How would you rate your ability to build better relationships with donors? Do you know them personally? Do they take your calls? Have you met them face to face or virtually? Do they respond to your emails, notes, and communications? Do you know what brought them to your organization and how they first became involved? What part of your work do they feel most passionate about?
If you answered “No” or you don’t know, you may want to invest some time in getting to know your donors.
How to build better relationships with donors
If you want to get off the treadmill of transactional fundraising like 5K races, golf tournaments, and galas and into the world of deeper, more meaningful relationships and partnerships with your donors, take this quick assessment.
What have you done in the last 30 days?
Place a check mark next to the items you’ve recently accomplished:
- ____Given donors and prospects update on how your program is changing the lives of people in need.
- ____Sent a sponsor or donor a link to a video about a client or a link to a news story about you.
- ____Reached out to a local civic club to let them know you’re available to speak.
- ____Invited your social media followers to get more involved by volunteering.
- ____Posted an original video that you created to give donors an inside look at your program.
- ____Called a board member to ask for help with a specific task that’s linked to their area of expertise.
- ____Sent a personal note to a donor with an update on a project they funded.
- ____Reviewed your gift acknowledgment process to ensure that thank you letters go out within a week of receipt?
- ____Revised your thank you letter to include a heartwarming story of impact and/or a photo of a client they’ve helped.
- ____Reviewed your online donation thank you to include a heartwarming story and/or photo of a client they’ve helped.
- ____Attended a webinar to learn more about fundraising and donor relations.
- ____Called a donor to say thanks and express your appreciation for them.
- ____Developed a short story about a successful client outcome that you can share on the phone with donors.
- ____Invited donors to tour your facility or attend a program-related event, food box packing, or hard hat tour.
- ____Called a donor to ask for their thoughts and input on a possible future project.
- ____Asked a board member for their advice in an area related to their field of expertise.
- ____Calculated your donor retention rate for the previous two years.
- ____Reviewed your list of donors to date and LYBUNT (donors who gave last year but unfortunately not this year).
- ____Updated your Amazon or website wish list and shared it with potential donors.
- ____Personally thanked a volunteer for their time and commitment.
If only a few items are checked, pick three things you will commit to doing in the next 30 days and get started on building better relationships with donors.
It takes time to build a better relationship with donors, but you can do it. One step at a time.