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3 Ways to Improve Donor Relations at Your Nonprofit

Maintain and improve donor relations at your nonprofit with these three simple tips.
Man talking to a woman about donor relations.

A group of highly-engaged, dedicated donors is the holy grail for nonprofits. But how do you get from finding new donors to building better donor relations?

Fundamentals of Fostering Donor Relations

Any organization can send out a donation request letter, but it takes a special connection to inspire dedicated giving. Yours can be that special as long as you lay the proper groundwork and stay consistent.

First, your nonprofit should already be established on social media. You should have a basic understanding of your audience, gained through demographic research and an examination of other, similar nonprofits. Share regular, high-quality, relevant media and content with this audience; content to keep them interested in your cause.

Second, your online donation process should be as streamlined as possible. It should never take someone more than a few clicks to donate to your cause. The more cumbersome it is for someone to give, the lower the chances they’ll actually follow through.

Interracial couple holding a Donate button, next to a GiveWP Form popup.

Third, you should use database software that allows you to actively track and communicate with your donors. Using Zapier to connect GiveWP to your favorite nonprofit CRM or marketing hub is a snap. By consolidating all your donor data in a single location, you can not only better-personalize your communication with them but also identify which donors are already highly engaged.

Finally, make sure you have a regular newsletter to which donors and volunteers can subscribe. Keep everyone up to date on what’s happening with your nonprofit.

Take Donor Relations to the Next Level

Now that we’ve got the fundamentals out of the way, let’s talk about a few ways you can take your own nonprofit’s donor relations a step further.

1) Tell A Story (And Keep It Real)

All successful marketing has its roots in storytelling. Nonprofit marketing is no different. Constructing powerful narratives paints pictures not just of your nonprofit, but also your nonprofit’s mission and values.

Highlight the direct impact of your efforts with personal stories and anecdotes. Give volunteers and employees the opportunity to share their own experiences with the wider community. Show people how, where, and why you’re changing the world. Instagram is a great place to share your story in addition to blogging on your own nonprofit site.

2) Be Thankful (And Genuine About It)

A little thanks can go a long way. I’m not just talking about personalized thank-you emails, either. That kind of thing is expected when someone gives.

You should go further than a simple thank you if you want to truly retain your donors.

Allow donors to feel more included in your organization’s future through membership programs. Establish a framework that will allow your organization to personally connect with donors via text message or over the phone (with their consent). Host exclusive events for your donors to show how much you appreciate their support. Provide new donors with welcome materials such as hand-signed letters. You might even consider giving donors a way to share their donation straight from the thank you confirmation page with the free Simple Social Shout for GiveWP add-on.

3) Give Donors A Chance To Get Involved

Give your most engaged donors the chance to get involved with your nonprofit beyond simply giving money. Let them know about ways they can volunteer. Send them notifications about new job listings and give them early access to fundraising and stewardship opportunities.

Encourage your donors to take a step further and go from donor to volunteer or employee. You might be surprised at how many people answer the call.

Your Fundraising Depends on Relationship Building

At the end of the day, donor engagement is all about relationship building. It’s about connecting with your donors first and foremost as human beings. Remember that, and you’ll do just fine.

What have you found is the best way to increase donor engagement and retention for your nonprofit? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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