We urge our clients, this year especially, to communicate more, not less, with their donors. It’s so vitally important to build stronger, deeper relationships via reporting back to them.
I was taught this long ago: whenever there’s a crisis, like COVID-19, there’s always hidden opportunity. That opportunity for you is to build bonds with your donors that will last a lifetime. The idea of working together to overcome the challenges this pandemic presents should be your clarion call to the content of your messaging and its clarity.
By all means “do” let your donors know what is being achieved with the support they send in.
The sad truth is that many nonprofits fail to capitalize on the good will of their donors because they haven’t communicated their organization’s achievements.
But “don’t” fool yourself into thinking that simply providing information on how you spent the donor’s money can be done in the body of your next direct mail letter—that won’t work.
Instead, give donors the time they need to think about what you communicate to them and to decide whether the results measure up to their expectations (and to compare what you report against what other nonprofits are claiming). Who knows? Your communication piece may standout because you were the only one to bother to communicate results at all.
Be assured that donors aren’t gullible. What they are is discerning.
So, there should be some separation of time between communicating information and asking for the next gift. This interval of time will help to quell any hesitation a donor may have.
If your next appeal is followed by prompt and personal acknowledgement and meaningful reporting on the impact of the individual’s last gift, you will significantly enhance your chances of getting another gift, even one that is greater than the last one you received.