Raising large sums of money can be a strenuous process. There must be a focused investment of time and resources in order to communicate your needs to donors and ultimately secure a gift. Oftentimes, organizations get so caught up in securing the actual commitment that they neglect one of the most important steps in donor cultivation: communicating your success.
Donors want specifics. They want to know how their gift is being used to further your nonprofit’s mission. They want to believe that their sacrifice – however large or small – is making a difference. The responsibility of communicating this information falls on you.
By implementing a comprehensive communications plan that includes post-solicitation strategies, you can ensure that your organization’s ongoing relationship with donors doesn’t end after they make a gift. Rather, this is just the beginning.
It starts with a timely, personalized letter of gratitude. Let donors know you are thankful, while also communicating the impact of their gift. Highlight where their dollars will be spent and how their gift will strengthen your nonprofit. This is the first of many steps you can take to express your appreciation while continuing to update donors. Other ideas your organization should consider:
- Utilize bulletins, newsletters, social media, your website and other communication pieces to spotlight what is being accomplished.
- Host donor appreciation events where you provide updates on your nonprofit and the projects being funded.
- Invite donors to a groundbreaking ceremony or project unveiling so they can see the impact their gifts have made.
- Share statistical data that shows the success of your organization/campaign, particularly for a program that you know is of interest to the donor.
You should never find yourself in a position where you are over-soliciting and under-communicating. Through an effective communications plan, your organization will find that critical balance. At the same time, educating donors and ensuring the success of your campaign, organization or both are being consistently and accurately communicated.
If you have any questions regarding the Steier Tips or the professional services provided by the Steier Group, I encourage you to contact me at any time.