Tag Archives: non-profit donors

It’s All About Relationships Part 2: Courtship

10 May

Thursday, May 10, 2012   

Business connections, as in all relationships, require a great deal of effort. Once you’ve found Mr. Right, it’s time to follow up and nurture the budding relationship. A relationship that is not tended to will definitely become a missed opportunity. 

The First Date

Now it’s time to go on your first date with your ideal mate (read: donor/constituent/customer). This can be done over the phone, but ideally it will be in person for a more intimate approach. It’s all about the donor; the only information you should give about your organization is in response to their questions. You will use your “first date” as a get-to-know-you session:

  • What are their likes and interests?
  • What about them makes them a perfect fit for your organization?  
  • Where are they in the involvement funnel (i.e. What is their availability? In what ways are they interested in participating?)
  • What are their needs are expectations from this involvement? 
  • How does your organization’s mission fulfill a need that they have?

Courtship

If all goes well, your first date will blossom into a beautiful courtship. But first you have to follow up after the first date. It doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking experience. Instead use it as an opportunity to demonstrate another dimension of your organization’s brand. (Every orgnization has a brand promise to fulfill. This goes for non-profits as well.) The first follow up should simply be a personal phone call or note expressing gratitude and appreciation for their time and interest. 

Continue to nurture the relationship with regular communication. Get them on your mailing list(s) and/or send a personalized e-mail here and there to check in. [Caveat: Always, always ask permission before including someone new on your mailing list.]  There’s no need to be pushy. At this point, you’re still getting to know the person and introducing your organization. Consider the following ideas:

  • E-newsletters
  • Social media engagement
  • Blog follows and responses
  • Invitations to signature events

Things to remember about this stage: a) maintain regular communication and b) do not ask…yet!!
Up next week is “The Proposal” and there will be lots of good stuff about “the ask” so stay tuned. 

Your turn: How do you court potential donors/constituents? Do you find that when you follow up, you get a better rate of participation/response? I’d love to hear your comments.

Please let me know what you thought of this article. Thanks!

 

Related Posts:
It’s All About Relationships Part 1 – Meeting Mr./Miss Right

Follow Delaney Marketing & Communications on these social media platforms:       

If you enjoyed this article, Subscribe using your favorite method. And don’t forget to  Share it!

What Have You Done To Thank Your Donors Today?

19 Jul

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Donors are the lifeblood of the non-profit world. Lets be honest, how much of the budget is devoted to fundraising? Most likely a large majority. And like all non-profits, you depend on your donors to propagate your cause. So how do you say “thank you” to these people, most of whom you’ve probably never met?? A “thank you” can be the simplest form of public relations.

1. Donor recognition events – If possible, host a small recognition event highlighting donor accomplishments. Showing donors how their dollars specifically went to mission-fulfillment gives them even more incentive to donate again by giving them ownership of the process.

2. Thank you e-mails/personalized notes – What ever happened to the simple thank you note? My mom always taught me that when someone gives you a gift or does something for you, that it’s just common courtesy to send a personalized thank you. I have since taken this with me into the business world where it has had amazing effects. It’s a simple gesture that shows people you appreciate what they’ve done by acknowledging their contribution. Why would anyone bother donating to a cause if they never hear from them again? I know I wouldn’t. 

3. Branded tchotchke – Gifts are easy ways to say thank you. And what better gifts are there than branded promotional items which also function as reminders of your cause? Have t-shirts, water bottles, calendars or note pads printed with your logo and tag line to send to donors as a small token of gratitude. They’ll appreciate the gesture…especially if the gift is something useful.

4. A video – I just read a blog post where a reader shared a “thank you video”. What a great and creative way to say thank you. Not only is it thoughtful, but it’s personalized and customized to your donors. Send it in an e-mail, post it on your Facebook page or host a small presentation, but either way, it’s an excellent idea!!

It comes down to expressing gratitude. If your donors know how grateful you are for their contribution, even in small ways, they are more likely to support your cause in the future.

Follow Delaney Marketing & Communications on these social media platforms:       

If you enjoyed this article, Subscribe using your favorite method.

Share

%d bloggers like this: