As a fundraiser, I’m always trying to better understand donors. Contrary to popular belief, this understanding doesn’t come from conferences or webinars. It comes from interactions and understanding with donors!
I also better understand donor motivation and behavior from my own experiences as a donor. For example, I just had a very positive experience with a local private school. Let me tell you the story…
I received a solicitation letter in the mail – sharing a student’s story. A couple days later, my husband and I chatted about what we wanted to give.
Once we made a decision, I ignored the enclosed envelope and headed straight to my computer. I went to the organization’s website, clicked a couple buttons, and made our gift online.
Immediately, I received an email confirmation. Just a couple days later, I received a handwritten note – personalized and even referencing a prior (non-solicitation) phone conversation! A few more days passed, and I received the official acknowledgement letter.
Wow! Paper mail, website, email, personal note, and phone call…across all of these channels, the school communicated with me positively, consistently, and appropriately.
- The main message of all the communication was expressed positively and warmly.
- Each piece of communication made sense together – consistently branded. The handwritten note and the website had a similar look and feel.
- When I gave eletronically, I received notification electronically. But, the school didn’t stop there – because I have a personal connection, both prior and future interactions were mentioned. How appropriate!
The learning for me and for you? Prepare multiple channels for communication with donors – don’t assume that 1 or 2 methods is enough. Prepare your communication to be positive, consistent and appropriate for the donor!
Want a bonus learning? Count the number of times the school communicated with me. Then, count the number of times that the communication was a solicitation. Notice anything?
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