The holidays are coming! With them come charity balls, year-end campaigns, and every fundraiser’s dream — new donors.
September is the month that prospective donors are seriously researching charities to support at the end of the year. It’s also the month that nonprofits should be thinking about how they’re going to respond to an influx of new supporters. Maintaining good donor retention is the most cost-effective fundraising method, but it takes a lot of thought and effort to be successful. Here are some key donor-retention elements that will help your nonprofit make the most of its holiday fundraising.
Your donors should receive a receipt when they’ve finished processing their gift. Whether the donation is made online, via check, or with a card at an event, make sure your receipt makes an impression. Just adding one or two friendly sentences to an otherwise run-of-the-mill tax receipt is a good place to start, and you can build from there.
You can add a quick “thank you” to your tax receipt, but don’t think that will keep your donors engaged. Follow up donations with a personalized note, e-mail, or thank-you card to let donors know that their gift made a difference. It’s a valuable way to maintain the emotional connection that inspired your donor to give in the first place, and it will make them more likely to give to you in the future.
To take things a step further, try giving donors a phone call, asking them about why they donated in the first place, or give them a public nod on social media channels or newsletters. The key is engagement — the more a donor interacts with you, the better!
Keep Them Involved
Keeping your donors engaged means including them in your nonprofits in ways that DON’T include giving. After someone’s made a donation, ask them to stay involved in your nonprofit through other avenues. Whether you ask them to like you on Facebook (make sure you interact with them if at all possible!) or invite them to volunteer or tour your facility, staying involved with your donors will let them know that you appreciate them as more than just a name in a financial report.
Stay In Touch
Future communications are important. There’s a fine line between keeping in touch with your donors and making them feel harassed, so be careful! Emphasizing donor-centric language in newsletters and emails, telling stories about the people your donors help, and not asking too frequently will all help maintain your connections with donors without making them feel like ATMs.
Your new holiday donors are out there right now looking into your organization and deciding if they want to support you this holiday season. They’re doing a lot of research and prep work — you should be, too! If you treat those holiday donors well, they could very well turn into year-round supporters and lifelong friends. Go get ’em!