How Positive Are Your Communications with Donors?

Brian Barela

“You want to create long term relationships with your supporters. When your supporters donate or volunteer they feel great about themselves and their participation in your organization. A nonprofit can reinforce these positive feelings by thanking supporters, highlighting specific donors, and showing the impact made possible by supporters.

People are receptive to emotional positivity. Bombarding people with helpless statistics is never as powerful as a great photo of rescued dog or a child.“–10 Ways to Improve Your Non-Profit’s Social Media Strategy

The classic example is the ASPCA, whose commercials show abused dogs and cats while playing sad music and laying a severe guilt trip on at the same time.

Many ministry communications I receive from other staff lead with negative information–how much money they need, how busy they are, how many unmet needs are happening, etc. This often comes when fundraisers communicate from a self-centered perspective, instead of a donor-centered one. Donors give out of joy, vision, and a positive connection with the fundraiser. When a fundraiser constantly sends negative communications to a donor, it depletes their motivation for giving.

Take Inventory of Your Last 3 Months:

  • How many times did you say thank you?
  • How much did you talk about yourself?
  • How much did you make the donor the hero of your communications?
  • How many stories did you tell? How many were positive/negative?
  • Do your communications have the potential to make your donors smile or frown?

Show the Impact

charity water mapsCharity: Water provides a google map for donors to literally see where their donation went. You may not have the resources to build a tool of this capacity, but you can:

  • Take lots of pictures of those you are reaching.
  • Gather stories of God at work in your ministry.
  • Record short, non-professional, but extremely personal videos highlighting the work you are doing, or just saying thanks!

What are some good examples you have seen of non-profits saying thanks, highlighting donors, or showing the impact of their giving? 

By Brian Barela | Posted: Feb 22, 2012
Category: Email/Communications, Fundraising | Permalink | Post a comment | Trackback URL.

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