Wonderful guest post by one of my Tweeps, Amy Oberholzer, who has been working in the charity sector for 4 years now, which has been extremely rewarding; hearing the feedback from donors, charity clients & their beneficiaries is what motivates me each day to go that step further. Donor com's is one of my passions! "I spend most of my days helping to build engaging stewardship programs with clients, as I believe that this is key in every regular giving campaign. However at the end of the day, I like to think that, "It's about making a difference..."
Many folks I’ve chatted to recently have stopped supporting a charity because they were either never thanked or simply sent out the generic “thank you” letter that doesn’t seem to change much from appeal to appeal. I’m not sure which is worse...
If your supporters don't feel like they are helping, or that their donations are not needed or taken for granted - majority will end up moving on to support another charity. One vital way you can keep a hold of your valuable supporters is to make sure you have a robust stewardship strategy, which is built on good donor com's.
Donor Com’s should be inspiring, sharing an honest & powerful story. Making a supporter feel like they are on a journey with you, helping you in your path to achieve your objectives. Com’s are in place to build a relationship between you and your supporters, it’s personalised (as much as possible) and sent out on a regular basis in their preferred medium.
Take your supporters on a journey, show them how their support is making a difference in your charity and how IMPORTANT they are in helping you to achieve your objectives.
Answer their questions and thank them promptly. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they feel about supporting your charity, and how & when they want to hear from you. Give them different options to support your charity in other ways (eg - volunteering, campaigning, etc).
Most of all treat them like a person, not a number!