I know we don’t intend to do this, but it happens. We get too busy with our current prospects or priorities, and those donors that gave yesterday fall by the wayside. Sure they’re still on the mailing list – they get invited to events, get the latest fundraising mailing, or even the e-newsletter. But, what’s needed is personal contact – a call, handwritten note, or a personal visit.
It’s very evident to the donor who is cultivated in the most caring way and with great respect until the gift is received, and then rarely hears from the organization again. Once this happens, donors lose their connection with the organization and begin to wonder if their support in still needed. They lose their excitement about your organization or cause and may even spread the word that you don’t really care about your donors. They will be less likely to advocate for your organization to others.
How do you possibly find the time to personally connect with all your donors as well as cultivate current prospects? There are some great suggestions that I found in an article by Stephanie Roth in the Grassroots Fundraising Journal. Even a phone call goes a long way towards maintaining a relationship with your donors. In the College of Science we send birthday cards to our major donors and prospects each month – personally signed by the Dean, and Development team. In each card we write personal notes and wishes which make the donor feel special and remembered.
What are some ways you stay connected with your donors? Leave a comment below.