3 min Read
October 24, 2012

Eleven ways you can tell your donors love you

Happy Be Your Donor Day! What’s that? You’ve never heard of this charming holiday? Well join us in celebrating Network for Good’s inaugural celebration of the people who help our mighty nonprofit friends accomplish their amazing missions.

As explained by Network for Good:

Before you send your next appeal, before you drive donors to your website and before you launch your year-end plans, you absolutely must set aside time to put yourself in your donor’s shoes to guarantee that your fundraising strategy will inspire them to give more. This year, we decree that October 24th be that day: Be Your Donor Day!

There have been a lot of great blog posts marking this joyous occasion with tips and resources. We wanted to celebrate with some ideas of our own. So without further ado, here are 11 ways you can tell if your donor loves your organization:

1. She spends her money and her time. Sure she makes a monetary donation, but she loves you so much she also volunteers for your organization. She may even serve on your board.

2. She gives to you on a regular basis. Getting her to give that first time is hard, getting her to give a second time is harder, but can you get her to give to you every year or month? If someone is a sustainer, chances are they really love ya.

3. She acts when you ask, and asks when you act. People who take action with you (alerts, petitions, etc.) are much more likely to donate. And I’d venture to say, that if she donates AND takes action, you’ve got a keeper. Bonus points for when she tells all her friends about what you are up to via email, Facebook posts, tweets, etc.

4. She raises money for you too. Not only does she give to you, but she’s happy to get others to join her. She may donate her birthday for or participate in a run/walk/ride endurance event. Along the way, she asks the people who care about her to support your nonprofit on her behalf. Why not flatter her back with a feature about her geneorsity in a profile in your next enewsletter or blog post?

5. She reads what you send. You’ve put a source code on that direct mail reply card or a trackable URL in your annual report or email blasts for a reason. Your super donor opens and clicks on your emails, and may actually thumb through what you publish.

6. She answers when you call. You call her right? Whether you’ve got a formal telemarketing program or have your executive director or board members call your major donors, she really appreciates that extra touch. And if she calls your organization, you are sure to answer the phone with a smile.

7. She comes to your parties. Whether you throw a swanky gala, an educational breakfast, or an engaging conference, she is happy to mix and mingle with you, fellow donors, and other participants. 

8. She wears it on her sleeve. If you sell t-shirts, totebags, and other swag, she’s happy to buy it. She may also use your logo as her avatar in social media profiles or feature your latest campaign as her Facebook timeline cover photo.

9. She knows where her money goes. She never questions what percent of her donation goes directly to programs or how you allocated her gift, because you tell her. You feature this info in your annual report, on your website, and in personalized email updates. You might even send her a video that shows her dollars at work.

10. She thinks giving to you is easy. She can figure out where and how to donate to you without a problem. And when she gives, it’s quick and painless. She may even give to organization like yours, but thinks you do it best.

11. She talks about what you do. You didn’t think I’d leave out a mention of branding, did you? So yes, she gets the big idea of who you are, because your communications are so clear, compelling, and consistent. She may even rattle off the same elevator pitch that your staff does, because she’s heard it over and over.

So–got anyone that fits this bill? Who are your super fans, your Beliebers, your people who just can’t get enough of supporting your mission and your organization? Find these people, hold them close, tell them you love them, show them you care, and then find some more!