What is donor communication?
Every nonprofit organization is engaged in donor communications. Donor communication is the activity of informing, influencing, and inspiring donors to engage with the mission of your organization. It can take place prior to a gift being received or in response to a gift being received. It takes place through direct mail, social media, email, events, and a host of other ways.
Healthy communication patterns are the foundation of every strong relationship. If you want to have a good relationship with donors, here are some basic practices you’ll need to instill:
- Gratitude. People are a gift in and of themselves, whether they invest in our mission or not. We should communicate thankfulness when they read our emails, attend our events, and especially when they donate financially.
- Listening. People feel valued when they are heard. If your organization only talks but never takes time to listen to donors, they will likely feel valued only for their money. Donors have more to provide than money. They have time and expertise that can accelerate the growth of your organization.
- Clarity. Every relationship requires the ability to understand the desires and needs of the other person. If your organization has trouble articulating its purpose and providing clear calls to action, donor relationships will suffer. Be clear about who you are and what you need as an organization.
- Honesty. Relationships require trust and transparency. Be honest when your organization falls short of its own standards and identify areas for improvement. Honesty is endearing in an age of perpetual hype.
- Consistency. If the only time your organization communicates is when you need money, donors will realize that their value is transactional. But if you tell donors every month about the impact their gift is having, they will feel appreciated for their involvement and excited to give again.
Like every good relationship, communication requires intentionality. Discover how Roundtree helps organizations craft effective communications to grow donor relationships.
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