Beginning with this blog, we will begin dedicating Mondays to leadership issues at nonprofit organizations.
In Chicago, we just enjoyed a beautiful Easter weekend which got me to thinking about how Easter really is the story of how Jesus’ death and resurrection offered people hope; which, in a way, is exactly what you should be offering your donors. Let me explain:
Easter is such a joyful day. It brims with hope and hallelujahs. It sparkles with sunshine and crocuses and candy and tulips. That’s how your donors should feel about your nonprofit. Do they? Have you done an audit of your donors’ feelings about your organization? Do they feel that donating to your nonprofit offers the hope of a better tomorrow for others who often feel hopeless?
The world can feel pretty hopeless at times and the media thrives on surrounding us with negative sight and sound bites on a regular basis. Being able to provide messages of hope to donors who have been supporting you is not only a great retention strategy, but also a way to give them a breath of fresh air.
What’s the hope you’re offering your donors? What they want is to feel that they are helping to change the world in some way. It makes them feel good, as does hope for a better tomorrow. Do you give donors that hope? Are you telling your donors how their gifts are making a difference?
Caution: don’t get so caught up in getting the money that you neglect to provide your donors with the hope part – the reporting back aspect of how they really helped to change something.
With 9 months of 2015 left, perhaps you’re ready to accept a challenge. How about making the rest of the year all about giving your donors hope by reporting back to them how their donations are making the world a better place.
Here are a few ways to give hope:
Get out of the building and see what your programs are doing. Find stories that illustrate the hope your organization offers.
Tell your donors your stories. Call them, write them a handwritten letter, make a video on your iphone and send the story of hope to them.
Take a photo of the work your nonprofit does; show the progress of something. Print the photo, then send it or even hand deliver it to your donors ($250 or more??), saying something like, “Good things are happening because of you!”
In your newsletters, always show how how donor gifts make a difference and provide hope.
In your annual appeal create a special section entitled, “You’re Making Hope Happen.” Make it about the progress being made because of all the gifts you get from donors.
Schedule face-to-face visits with donors, with the sole purpose being how they are giving hope to the hopeless. Share statistics, figures, and most of all, heartwarming stories. Then say thank you.
These are just a few “Ideas of Hope.” It really is a gift for you to be able to tell donors how they are bringing hope in to the world! Many people wish they could have that job. And you have it!! You are giving hope to people, when all around them is hopelessness.
What’s are some of your “Ideas of Hope? Please share.