Donor Relations: How to Stay In Touch with Donors

Donors give money to create impact – making a difference.

Often we only thank them at the time of the donation, but don’t stay in touch, then next year when asking for another donation they find excused to opt-out of giving again.

It’s important to have a donor relations person managing a donor relations process through a system, which often includes software – a contact management software.

How to you stay in touch with donors? What method (email, US Mail, phone, meetings and visits, etc.)? What’s the frequency of your contact with donors?

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  • Influencer

    Donor engagement is a full contact activity these days! Relationships are at the heart of effective fundraising, especially at the higher end. It takes time and effort to engage people. We have to start small and make sure that we reach out often to remain at top of mind. Make sure that when you reach out, it's no always for an ask. Give them information and news that matters to them and take time to frequently thank and recognize them at all levels. Make more of a fuss as their support grows and ask them regularly what they would like to see you do to grow and improve the services you're offering.

  • Influencer

    I had originally thought that a donation letter once a year was good enough. But I've since learned that regular communication is best. Just today my biggest donor said that she plans on continuing to make sure our nonprofit continues to receive her financial gifts. When I gave her our first donation letter, she said "this made me cry" because I felt it important to let her know how much her gift had impacted the lives our nonprofit reaches. It's not just the money, it's giving thanks for people who believe in our mission enough to make sure it continues!

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