Growing up, I always remembered my dad being very proud of having an old school American Express card that noted on the card that he was a member since 1965. He felt that he belonged to an exclusive club. Indeed he did, the first Amex list in 1958 included the likes of such folks as Elvis. My dad may not be Elvis but he and his hair are rock stars in my book.
My point here is what are you doing to make your donors proud that they support you? Do they know the longevity of their support? We know loyal donors are among some of our most valuable supporters and also we know they yield planned gifts at higher rates than any other population. What have you done to make them feel like members since...?
Let's take a couple of examples. On your gift receipt you want to list supporter since ... and then the first year of their support. Or you can go even further and add the number of years of consecutive support onto the gift receipt. Put it up front and proud, but make them feel like they belong! You can also have board members, volunteers and students if you have them call these folks and thank them for their continuing support. Celebrate their consecutive giving milestones like anniversaries! 5 years, 10 years, 15 and on up. Finally take your list of those that have given 20 years consecutively and have your CEO or President or Chair of the Board write them a heartfelt note of thanks. Some of our supporters have been giving to us longer than a whole generation has been alive! Remember, these folks want to belong, they're proud to be a part of something and it's our job and pleasure to let them know that they belong right here with our organization.
Here is the monetary truth, these donors also give a larger amount of their expendable income proportionately than the big donor who writes one check we all laud over. Consistency is behavior and behavior becomes habit. This giving habit can also become contagious, how will you spread the love.
For those of you already doing these activities, fantastic, please share with us how you help others feel like they belong.
I look forward to hearing your feedback.