It’s hard enough to convince someone to part with a bit of their hard-earned cash to help your non-profit. It’s tougher still to keep them coming back for more—or optimally, coming back with more.
A few simple measures can ensure that more of your hard-won donors remember you again. Here are 3 things that every donor wants to hear before he writes another check to you:
#1. Tell me thank you!
Let your donor know that you have received—and appreciated—his gift. Thank him for his generosity.
It’s a basic common courtesy—something your Mother drummed into your head after every birthday and holiday. But in this hurry, scurry world, some of these niceties are being forgotten. Sure, budgets are tight, but you’ve simply got to find a bit of slack to thank those who are helping you.
#2. Tell me what you did with my designated gift.
If the gift was given for a specific purpose (ie Haiti relief) be sure to reference exactly what your organization used those funds for. For instance, “We fed 500 people for a month…we immunized 150 people against dysentery…we provided tents for 15 families.”
If you can get specific—“$25 fed a family of four for a week; $5 immunized one person; $100 bought one tent”—then the donor feels a tangible connection between his gift and your use of it. Your response puts a face on the need, and how he helped meet that need.
#3. Tell me how you will use my non-designated gift.
A gift to general support is enormously valuable, but perhaps more difficult to quantify. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Let your donor know how you will use it in the course of your activities.
“Your gift will help us send 5000 inner city children to summer camp this year…rescue and re-home 2500 abandoned animals…fight for legislation that will…”
#4. Repeat the message in a newsletter.
Thank your donors again in the newsletter (no, you don’t have to do so by name) and reiterate what those donors have funded.
Then the next time you come knocking they will know more about your organization, what you do and how you do it. Best yet, they will have the most important attribute you could ask for: a warm fuzzy feeling about how they made a difference through your organization. That warm fuzzy feeling makes the next gift more likely, and makes the next gift more likely to be larger.
And it all started because you remembered what your Momma told you: “Say Thank you.”