3 Rules for Donor Communications

I like to keep things simple. Thankfully, growing donor relationships through communications doesn’t have to be complicated. It comes down to building a communications plan that reflects three priorities: clear, consistent, and creative. At Roundtree, we call these the three C’s.

Marketing is CLEAR when the message is simple, focused, and intuitive.

Marketing is CONSISTENT when there is a regular cadence over a long period of time.

Marketing is CREATIVE when it helps people grasp concepts in new ways. 

Here’s where many faith-based organizations struggle.

  • Some are clear but have a hard time creating and distributing regular content for donors. Their message isn’t delivered frequently enough to create a lasting impression.
  • Some are consistent but the messaging is complex. They always try to tell donors three things instead of one thing.
  • Some are clear and consistent but bland. They are stuck in traditional channels and their marketing lacks visual appeal.

BE CLEAR

People have limited time and attention. 

  • What does your organization do?
  • What difference does it make in the world?
  • What makes your organization different from others?
  • What are ways donors can get more involved?

It doesn’t matter if your message is clear internally among the staff and board. It matters that it makes sense to a mom waiting to pick up her son from hockey practice. 

BE CONSISTENT

You build an impression with people through drips, not buckets. Frequency is the secret sauce of marketing. 

  • What is the profile of your ideal donor (age, location, lifestyle, etc.)?
  • Where can you consistently reach your ideal donor (email, social, paid ads, direct mail etc.)?
  • What kind of content needs to be created over the next quarter to inform and inspire them about the work you’re doing?

Relationships are built through communication. Silence and sporadic messages will not help your organization create a deeper connection with donors.

BE CREATIVE

Every executive director wants younger donors while their brand identity and voice often skews older. 

  • Does your brand have a modern color palette and simple visual style?
  • What assets does your organization have to uniquely leverage?
  • What emerging channels should you consider using?

Understanding the three C’s is simple, and that’s the first step. The hard part is executing. Once you do, your organization begins to experience the compounding benefits.

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