Each year, the number of marketing messages out in the world increases, and this increases the competition. It is important that for nonprofits to map out a plan to engage prospective donors and retain current donors that carries throughout the entire year.
Having a set strategy will not only ensure that your donors are hearing from you, but it will set your message apart from the sea of asks. Blackbaud has created an effective framework for nonprofits to follow and build a plan off of.
The first step is to mine the data. If you have been mailing donors in any way, then you have a database to analyze. Bring in a specialist to help you look at your data and break it down to create a strategy. Look at who usually gives at what time of the year, how many times a year someone tends to give and what their preferred method of giving is. From this information, you will be able to personalize content and deliver messages at the most effective point in time. While you are working with your data, it is also important to clean it up so you aren’t wasting resources. Remove the deceased, duplicated entries and addresses from your donors have moved.
Next, you should review your case. Building a case statement for why donors should support your organization is essential. Make sure it is clear and to the point, answering the question of what you will do with their money when they donate. The more realistic and specific this statement is, the more donors will fully understand how they will be making and impact and will be more likely to support your cause. Teach this case statement across your organization, so everyone can engage donors at any point in time.
Targeting the best donors will also help you organize your time and resources better. Select the biggest donors who you will engage with personal contact. This can be a face-to-face meeting or sincere phone call that will portray how grateful your nonprofit is for their continued support. Take this as an opportunity to update them with new projects or programs and exciting stories involving the people you have helped.
After you have talked to your biggest donors, don’t forget to contact the next tier of donors. You can write them a personal letter or handwritten note that expresses your appreciation and request their support once more. Do not model this after a direct mail piece – it should be more personal and show that you have taken some time to think of them.
Say thank you at the right time. Blackbaud has found that the best time of the year to express gratitude to supporters of your nonprofit is during the holiday season in December. Spend as much time as you can that month calling different donors that respond to your efforts and requests. This increases loyalty and re-engages donors for the next year.