Your donors are busy people. They are hearing from dozens of non-profits each day through direct mail, email, social media, texts, and phone calls. Plus they have their own families, jobs, hobbies, etc…
So how can you stand out among all these competing factors?
Here are 5 ideas to consider to catch your donors’ attention:
People are naturally wired to listen to and tell stories. Ancient fables are still being shared today. There is a reason for this: stories communicate information better than other mediums. Plus, stories are memorable, which means you are able to reach your donors and stay in their minds.
Good stories have a problem, a struggle and a solution. The donor should not be a passive spectator in the story; the donors should be the hero.
Don’t be afraid to use the same story more than once. Ideally, you are repeating your stories until your donors can tell them back to you.
- Treat your donors like people
Donors must be people to you first. They aren’t walking ATM machines. Don’t assume they should give or will give. If a donor wants less mail, respect their wishes. If they donate, say thank you. Each one of your donors should feel like the royalty they are. Create a culture of caring within your organization.
Will this catch a donor’s attention? Yes. I’m sure of it. It sounds simple, but sadly, not everyone learned these skills in kindergarten.
- Surprise your donors
Send them a small gift for no reason. Write your donors a handwritten note because you want them to know how grateful you are for them. A thank you call that is truly just a thank you call. Do something not because it is the anniversary of their first gift or your non-profit’s anniversary, but just because. How can you wow your donors? Donors that feel as though your organization care about them are more likely to continue caring about you.
- Ask for your donors’ opinions and listen
Donors support your organization because they care passionately about your cause. That means they likely are a bit of an expert, and likely have thoughts and ideas they would love to share with you.
Did you know that people who ask more questions are perceived as caring more, understanding more and being a better listen? This has been proven in experiments, but I bet you knew it already from your own experiences.
Whether it is through a phone call or in person visit, or survey sent through email, your donors will appreciate the opportunity to share their opinions and thoughts.
Genuinely listen. And when you use their advice, be sure to let them know!
- Be authentic
There is nothing worse than getting a letter or email and feeling how fake and robotic it is. Sometimes it is the overall tone used and sometimes the specific language used. Fake, marketing-type language won’t get you far with your donors.
Your donors want authentic, human conversation. Your non-profit is doing real work, good work. There’s no reason to sound phony when you talk about it! Talk to your donors like you would talk to your Mom. And share things. Sure, donors want to hear about your successes but also when you have fallen short of your goals. That’s real too.
For more fundraising advice and news, check back for new posts on our nonprofit fundraising blog. If you’d like help with your direct mail fundraising, GivingMail offers nonprofit direct mail solutions. Here are some nonprofit fundraising ideas to get you started.
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