Think Before You Thank
The better you steward and recognize donors, the more they will give over time - as advocates, volunteers, and through giving. So how are you weaving donor recognition into your communications?
Take a fresh look at your stewardship and cultivation strategy. Think ahead and be proactive in your recognition, are you utilizing interactive tactics to thank and recognize donors?
When was the last time you interviewed a corporation or individual about why they gave to your organization? Write up an article for your eNews, but don’t focus so much on who the company is, but instead why they believe your mission is worth wild and how their investment will make a difference. Looking for people to interview? Look beyond the board or a major donor. What about the couple who has been giving you $250 for the last 10 years? There is a story and it’s more relatable to your base than the person who gives $250,000.
Your website is prime real estate; think beyond a donor profile. What about an interactive donor wall that you update quarterly or monthly? Don’t just list names; what’s the point really? Make it interactive and engaging. Link some of the names to a picture, a quote, a video, a media release or a website. While you’re giving visitors a reason to read the list you’re also recognizing the people that support your mission.
Do you list your donors in the annual report, post it on your website and announce the publication via email. If you’re worried about other people searching for names, convert the PDF into images, which makes the content unsearchable.
What about social media? Instead of posting a donor story, ask the donor to post a story about why they gave to your mission. Utilize their circle of friends and influence by asking them to engage with you on your social media assets. Be even more timely, while you’re at the playground renovation with the local beverage company, tweet updates and post pictures from the event – show the impact in action.
And don’t forget to keep the focus on the mission, your supporters and investors should be thanked appropriately, but it’s even more important to link their gifts to impact so people can see philanthropy at work.
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