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This is It!

Personalizing the experiences of your donors is It, I’ve decided. It?

Yes, simply asking donors their preferences and then respecting them is the first, and maybe even most vital step an organization can take to ensure the establishment of more than just a one-off relationship.

From what I’ve seen, it’s the one ingredient most nonprofits can do better. If they do, they will be rewarded.

What about you?

I’ve seen it time and again and now I’m putting it to you directly.

What are you doing to get to know your donors better than you already know them? Are you recording and respecting their preferences? Do you know what their preferences are? Have you asked? Have you looked for trends? How are you using the data that’s probably sitting right there in your donor database to drive activity with your donors?

I’ve no doubt that you want to be the best fundraiser you can be, but if you’re ignoring the preferences and desires of those who support your cause, for whatever the reason, you’re stifling your organization’s growth and productivity and quite possibly your own, as well.

When you put donors at the center of your plans and offer them choices, I promise—your work will flourish.

Here’s one personal example of an approach to adopt:

Within days of making an online gift to an educational institution which I did not attend, I received a very surprising email from them. They wanted to get to know me and my communication preferences and told me plainly that they would record and respect them.

How did I feel? In the driver’s seat, respected, and more-than-satisfied with what is a burgeoning relationship.

With the certainty that comes from having worked with over 700 nonprofits over the past 24 years, I can tell you that those organizations doing this well have higher revenue and greater customer loyalty, as well as improved donor retention rates.

If you’re not learning as much as you can about your donors and their communication preferences, I leave you with this—why not? I’d really like to know.

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