How to improve your relationship with donors

25 August 2021

Fundraising is hard work especially securing regular donations which is why it is so important to build strong genuine relationships with your donors to increase giving. 

Creating a relationship with your donors where they feel appreciated and included within your organisation will help to secure long term donations and create a lasting reputation. Building a strong relationship with each donor will also help spread the good work your doing by word of mouth to family and friends.

To get you started we’ve created a small list of tips on how your organisation can improve your relationship with donors to increase giving today!

Why is it important?

Building a strong genuine relationship is more important than ever right now there are many charities that are in desperate need of funds so building a connection with your donors will help create loyalty to your cause. With many financial uncertainties during the current pandemic, it is also crucial to continue relationships with donors because although many may have to skip a couple of donations, keeping them up to date shows them that you still care about their donation and it will encourage them to donate again when they can. 

Having a good reputation for donor management will also help you to bring in new donors as they will have heard good things about your organisation. This will then encourage them to start a recurring gift or help spread the word.

Tips for improving your relationship with donors

Some tips to get you started are conducting thorough research, find out as much as you can about your audience so you can then communicate effectively with them. Keep them in the loop by sending out reminders or updates regularly on new campaigns to donate to but make sure to always thank them for any contribution. If you want to succeed you should always review how your approach is going and evaluate so you can make improvements.

  • Research

Research is the best way to understand how to reach your audience effectively. By conducting thorough research you will know the best method to reach each of your audiences to inform them about your campaigns. The research will also help you to differentiate your content to suit each of your audiences to encourage engagement and donations. 

By conducting thorough research into your audience will take time but it will also save you time and money in the long run as you won’t be creating content where the message is lost so people don’t know how to donate.

  • Communicate effectively

After you have conducted research into your audiences it is important that you don’t post that same thing on every platform, you need to arrange your content to suit the audience you are trying to reach. Even though your content should differ it is important the message stays the same and no confusion is created, you want to push people to your donation platform seamlessly to start your relationship on a positive note.

Once you’ve reached your audience, you need to keep them interested so keep them updated with content or new campaigns that may interest them this will encourage them to make another donation or become a regular donors.

  • Reminders 

It is important that you provide an option in your giving form to allow donors to subscribe to your organisations newsletter. This will allow you to update donors about the progress of the campaign they donated to and inform them about any new ones. Reminding your donors of your progress and why you need their donations will increase the chance of them donating again or setting up a recurring gift. 

Make sure when sending out reminders that you don’t overload donors with information, less is more. Regular content is good but you want your content to be powerful and engaging so put more effort into creating something to drive action rather than spamming inboxes. If you are going to set up subscriptions, you should also make sure donors can unsubscribe so they don’t feel locked in. 

  • Thank You’s 

A great and easy way to improve your relationship with your donors is by making sure you always thank them properly for their generosity. You can do this by sending a thank you email, make sure the email is customised, and includes their name to make it more personal. The more appreciated a donor feels the more likely they are going to want to continue to give so make sure you tell them the impact every dollar makes to your organisations cause. 

The most engaging thankyous are ones that include real stories about how donations change lives. Try to include videos, images and links in your thank yous to remind donors how big of a difference they make.

  • Review

To ensure your strategy continues to work, you need to constantly review your data to make sure you are reaching your audience and receiving more donations. By reviewing the data you should be able to see if people are clicking on your emails or posts and make changes to ensure they do. 

Another great way to review how your organisation is connecting with donors is by enabling donors to leave a note or feedback in the giving form. Giving them easy access to communicate with you anything that might improve your organisation. You may also want to allow comments on your posts to encourage people to communicate with you on all channels so they know they are heard. While it is important to allow feedback you should always monitor it to make sure everyone is responded to. 

It is impossible to have a positive relationship with every donor but it is important that you keep these tips in mind to avoid losing crucial donations. Implementing small strategies to improve your organisation reputation when managing donors will take time but overall will help secure future recurring donations. 

Want to increase your donations? Take a  tour to find out how Generous can help you get started.