Rescigno’s has been at this fundraising game for 25 years now, so it gets kind of easy to NOT think about what it feels like to be a donor. Consider: Mr. or Ms. Donor sends a gift and then wonders (in fundraising you don’t want your donors to “wonder”) how the money was used because you haven’t yet communicated with them (since receiving the gift.)
Have you ever thought about what it must feel like to be “just another name in the database?” How about spending some time thinking about what needs to be done on your end to bring the donor the sense of satisfaction that he or she deserves to feel?
Is there a sense of self-satisfaction that comes from the mere act of giving? Yes. But that feeling of satisfaction can be deepened one hundred fold when the donor is able to experience the true impact of the gift that was made.
Never forget, in spite of what some donors may tell you, most of them want to be recognized and appreciated. It’s human nature.
How you follow up with your donors is what triggers the sense of donor satisfaction and greatly influences whether or not you will receive that coveted next gift. This is especially true for new donors.
Creating a Sense of Satisfaction—From the Donor’s Perspective
Sincerely and promptly thank the donor for the gift – I’m often asked why it’s so important that donors are thanked promptly. Timeliness gives donors confidence that the gift was received and will be effectively used.
Clearly explain how the gift is being used to help people-tell the story of how the gift will be put to good use, then tell the donor how and when he or she will hear more—an email (before the end of the week), a newsletter (before the end of the quarter), etc.
Send regular and relevant communications –it’s what today’s donors expect. Make your communications timely, relevant, and personal. It has to be information donors care about. If it isn’t, it doesn’t matter how many times you use the word “you.” Sometimes your engagement process might be a 2500 word newsletter; other times it might mean sending an email with a brief story about how their gift is making a difference.
How much do you know about your donors? It’s very important that you communicate with them at the right time, in the right way, and at the appropriate relationship stage. If you’re asking what I mean by “relationship stage,” call me. I’ve got a great story to share with you.
How are you working to create a sense of “donor satisfaction” within your donors? Please share your thoughts with us.