The value of contacting individual donors

July 29, 2014

The value of contacting individual donors

As nonprofits continue to spread their efforts to social media outreach and crowd funding campaigns, the value of an individual and personal touch can sometimes be overlooked. No charitable group consciously decides to forego showing appreciation for the contributors that make their missions possible, but the realities of casting a wide net when it comes to donations can lead to a lack of contact between a nonprofit and its donor base. Here are just a few reasons to make sure that new and continuing contributors are thanked by the nonprofit to which they give.

  • A show of appreciation can mean more gifts in the future: While there's almost always an automated "Thank You" email sent to contributors, this often isn't enough to maintain the good feelings that donating to a nonprofit can provide. Veteran nonprofit fundraiser Pamela Grow said the reason for this disconnect is a difference in the expectations of contributors versus the organizations receiving gifts. The importance of follow-up work when it comes to continuing donor outreach and getting a second or third gift can't be overlooked. When a person contributes for the first time, the biggest barrier to entry is overcome. Nonprofits need to do whatever they can to keep this positive momentum rolling.
  • Specific feedback shows contributions at work: A little bit of extra work on the part of a charitable organization can keep donors coming back. Information about the program that the money from a specific gift went to, as well as what those funds did to reach a goal, can make contributors feel valuable. Instead of a form letter that simply provides thanks for a gift, nonprofits should be as specific as possible and share the good news that a donation helped to create.
  • Ask for opinions and help donors share knowledge: Creating a good contributor survey means putting in some extra effort, but the results can help nonprofits target their future operations toward the most effective areas. The increased insight generated by a contributor poll is valuable in terms of future outreach efforts and marketing decisions, and it also keeps donors involved. The Nonprofit Times suggests that a survey will make donors feel involved and appreciated.

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