Wed, February 12 2014

3 simple rules for spreading #donorlove

Caryn Stein's avatar

VP, Communications and Content, Network for Good

Filed under:   Fun stuff • Fundraising essentials •

Valentine Box

As we inch closer to Valentine’s Day, love is in the air. Beyond heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and overpriced bouquets, there’s an even bigger force in play—the kind of love that comes through generosity. Today, the nonprofit community is sharing examples of donor appreciation and tips for expressing gratitude in honor of Donor Love Day. You can follow along with the stream of ideas by checking out the hashtag #donorlove.

Here are three rules to keep in mind when planning your own #donorlove efforts:

Be authentic. Your donor appreciation efforts don’t have to be expensive or flashy, but they need to be genuine. This means connecting with your donors on a personal level. Donor love shouldn’t feel automated or mass produced. Think about the difference between a handmade construction paper Valentine vs. a preprinted stack of cards. Which one feels more sincere?

Be dependable.  Of course, your donors should expect to receive a gracious thank you for each gift, and that acknowledgement should include details about their unique relationship with your organization. But that’s not all. They also deserve regular updates on the impact of their donation and how you’re fulfilling the promise of your mission. Can donors count on you for an amazing experience each time they interact with your organization? This is an important, but often overlooked way to honor and respect your supporters.

Be open.  One way to show donors your appreciation is to let them know you are open to receiving their support as well as their feedback. This means listening to what your donors are telling you about why they support your cause, how they’d like you to communicate, and what they’d like to see as a result of their donation. Incorporate this knowledge into your outreach.

Need some more inspiration? Here are some more donor appreciation ideas from our learning center:

3 Special Ways to Show Donors Your Love
6 Keys to Donor Retention
How to Treat Your Donor Like a Superhero
How “Wow” Experiences Create Lifetime Donors
How to Combat Donor Fatigue
How Strong Relationships Increase Fundraising Results
Sample Donor Appreciation Certificate

How are you planning to show your love for your donors this year?


Photo credit: Caryn Stein



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