Creating best practices for donor relations

February 18, 2015

Creating best practices for donor relations


Creating sustained interactions with donors isn’t always easy for nonprofits, but it’s an important and necessary component of operations.


Creating sustained interactions with donors isn’t always easy for nonprofits, but it’s an important and necessary component of operations. In many respects, donor development is comparable to the business concept faced by for-profit companies, where the cultivation of repeat customers is less costly and more effective than constantly reaching out to new ones. This same situation applies to charitable organizations, where the connection created by initial outreach efforts means less time needs to be spent on basic education or getting potential contributors over the relatively large hump of giving that first gift.

Nonprofit blog, Winspire News, said that because the majority of nonprofit gifts will continue to come from individuals as opposed to corporations or other large entities, an emphasis on individual donor development is key. Winspire said cultivation should be a daily goal in some form or another. While one-on-one contact and other individualized measures won’t be taking up the majority of staff members’ days, some attention needs to be paid to cultivation on a regular basis. Considering the high level of contact needed to develop individual donors, creating calendars and other plans for outreach should be a priority. Providing a great experience for donors makes them more likely to give and to discuss positive experiences with a nonprofit within their social circles.

Developing an understanding of donor expectations

One reason effective individual donor development can take so long is the need to understand the motivations of contributors. Nonprofit blog npENGAGE pointed out the expectations of donors are one of the biggest areas to focus continuing research. If nonprofits can understand what contributors expect from the organizations they donate to, they can more effectively assemble the materials needed for both one-on-one and mass engagement efforts more successfully. Outreach efforts that don’t specifically focus on solicitations, but instead let donors know what has been done with their gifts, is another area to consider. Such an approach demonstrates the enduring value of donors and keeps them engaged without making the relationship seem like a purely financial one.

Content presented by First Nonprofit Group, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.


Ready to chat?
Get in touch today to request a no-obligation savings evaluation.


The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.

Ensight Skills Center, Inc, Fort Collins, CO

Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.

New York Council of Nonprofits, Albany, NY

It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios. We are impressed with the accuracy of their employment decisions, integrity of their employees and efficiency of their claim handling. We greatly respect and value the consistent, impressive cost savings from the utilization of their outstanding services.


Thresholds, Chicago, IL

Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.

Illinois Network of Charter Schools, Chicago, IL

Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.

Prevent Blindness America, Chicago, IL