December 10, 2019 Douglas Shaw & Associates

If you listed the top five ways your organization could start the year off strong, what would make the cut? Perhaps it’s staying ahead of the latest trends, having a solid strategic plan, or effectively utilizing data and analysis. But there’s one thing even more important than all of the above—your donors.

Building and retaining relationships with your donors is essential to your ongoing growth. Here are five ways you can start the year off great—with your donors top of mind.

Before forging ahead into the new year, take some time to reflect on all that has happened this year. Did you acquire new donors? Celebrate! Did you miss a few goals? Recalibrate. Don’t miss this chance to take a deep breath—and reflect on the amazing things you’ve done thus far.

Ask. Ask. Ask. Don’t assume you know what motivates your donors to give, engage, and respond. Re-examine their interests by asking them directly whether by surveys, emails, interviews, or phone calls. Then, listen and implement things that made them support you to begin with.

Now that you’ve asked, be open to receiving any and all feedback—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Spend time evaluating it with your team, deciding what aligns with your brand values, and executing each helpful tip to move your organization forward.

You can build a genuine relationship with your donors by remembering one thing: it’s not about you. That new project you launched? The number of people you serve? The local press you just received? It only matters to your donors as it relates to their partnership in it. When you speak directly to the impact your donors have in helping your organization accomplish such incredible things, they feel like they’re a part of your success story. And when that happens, it’s bound to result in long-term, sustained giving.

You’ve laid the foundation, but don’t stop there! Reach out to your donors often by sharing stories of impact, highlighting successes they’ve helped make possible, and yes, asking them for ongoing financial support. Take advantage of all communication platforms—direct mail, social media, and email—to reach them right where they are. Because when you cultivate relationships first, support and donor loyalty will always follow.

By executing these 5 donor-focused strategies, you can be sure 2020 will be a great fundraising year of growth and success!

Our team is happy to help advise you on what strategy may work best for your organization, but you’ll never know unless you try.

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