• Lynnette Doherty

How do we love thy donor? Let us count the ways!


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Are you ready to show your donors “the love”? Don’t be shy, tell them how much they mean to you and your organization! They already like you, however, we know some secrets that will make them LOVE you! Like any healthy relationship you can’t express your feelings just one day a year, like Valentine’s Day. Hold their affections and interest by telling them throughout the year how much THEY mean to you.

Donor retention is one not-so-secret secret for continued growth for a non-profit. Is your individual fundraising and stewardship program leaving your donors feeling lonely? You can easily change that by building those relationships through effective communication. There are so many ways to show donors “the love” they need to feel so they want to stay in this relationship for the long term!

Here is an example. First, always make a new donor feel special and never stop. Think of it like a first date and make a great first impression. Send an email or make a phone call welcoming and thanking that person, within 48 hours. Follow that with your acknowledgement letter, also within 48 hours. After a couple of months, keep the donor informed about how his or her gift is making a difference, perhaps with a donor impact report or an individualized email. There are so many ways to keep donors happy and engaged, all while keeping them informed.

The goal is to make the donor want to keep engaging with you. Keep it short and interesting—and filled with gratitude.

Maybe these three key phrases can help keep your donors feeling loved:

Know – know your donors! Try to gather as much information as possible on the people that are so important to your organization. Personalize your letters and include details, so that each donor who receives that letter feels like he or she is the only one who got it. Take it a step further and try collecting email addresses and social media handles to keep that form of communication flowing, if they are comfortable with that.

Show – show your donors how much you need them! Share touching stories, photos, or videos (if possible) about the people your donors have helped. Social media is a great platform for this.

Grow – Numbers are your friends…and they won’t ever lie! Provide your donors with metrics on what was accomplished with their donation. Infographics are ideal! When they see results, they will feel invested and attached.

If it seems a bit overwhelming, we can help! Please read through our blogs for more helpful tips on

donor retention and many more fundraising best practices.

Our goal is to help strengthen that bond with your donors, so your organization can continue doing amazing work!