2 min Read
February 1, 2012

Give your donors some action year-round

Big Duck

Ah, February. The hustle and bustle of year-end fundraising is over, and there are ten glorious months separating you and the next December rush… It’s time to put your feet up for a well-earned rest, right?

Sadly, no. Your 2011 year-end donors are excited about your mission now. And if they don’t see anything except your monthly e-newsletter and occasional Facebook updates until next December, even the sexiest 2012 year-end campaign won’t make up for your lost momentum.

So what should you send your supporters now to keep them engaged and excited? Since recent studies state that nonprofit advocates are seven times more likely to give than non-advocates, you might want to consider adding several non-fundraising actions to this year’s online communications calendar.

Your donors are happy to give you financial support, but many of them want to do more to advance your mission. Whether you launch a comprehensive advocacy campaign or the simplest online quiz, online actions can engage your supporters in several crucial ways:

  1. Periodic actions keep your organization “top of mind,” in a good way. Sure, you’d get some attention if you started sending nothing but appeals every month. But a quick rise in your “unsubscribe” rates is not the kind of attention you’re looking for. By giving your supporters an action to take beyond donating—you gently remind them about your organization’s ongoing work and value. Even if they don’t take the action every time, just seeing your name in their inbox makes your organization easier to remember when year-end season rolls around again.
  2. Actions make donors feel like they’re part of the story, not an ATM. Beyond making your organization more visible, online actions also help donors feel like they’re active partners in your work, not just someone you come to when you need funds. Over time, this will build trust and investment in a deeper way than donations alone could achieve.
  3. Actions “show, don’t tell” why your work matters. Your high school English teacher was right—you’ll make your case more effectively if you demonstrate it through actions, not description. Whether your supporter takes a quiz and shares a surprising answer with a friend, retweets your latest petition, or writes their Congressperson and then sees new legislation passed, online actions help supporters understand the importance of your work in a way that even the most eloquent appeal cannot.

And the best part? You don’t need a fancy advocacy program or even a legislative agenda to energize your supporters. With a little creativity, any nonprofit can start engaging its supporters with action as well as donations.

Not sure where to start? Want some ideas for how to make it happen? Scoot on over to our Duck Call blog for ideas for easy and creative online actions your nonprofit can explore.