Donor relationships the key to giving success
When we buy our match ticket to watch our favourite team in action, we are not just making a financial commitment to the club, but we are also making a clear emotional commitment towards the club, its players and supporters.
Your ticket purchases you the right to cheer your team to victory, and the euphoria of winning is transformational. The psychological rewards come flooding in and, suddenly, the week of work ahead or the drudgery of home chores becomes far more palatable.
As fans, we applaud our team at full-time and it is becoming increasingly commonplace for teams to acknowledge and thank the crowd for their support at the end of each game. We feel appreciated by the team’s actions and this valued relationship promotes the likelihood that we will attend more games in the future.
A similar scene needs to be played in fundraising. Sports giving involves both our emotional heart and our rational mind. It is also very personal as donors are investing their own funds in your project.
Donors are not merely making a financial commitment to your fundraising project, but they are emotionally tied towards your success and they want to know how they have made a difference.
Therefore, preserving relationships with donors after they have given is imperative to fundraising success. Donors want to feel a sense of belonging, of increased social connectiveness and receive a level of appreciation.
The more engaged donors feel throughout the project fundraising journey, and the more satisfied they are with the overall donation experience will help drive their ongoing loyalty and their willingness to give again.
Critically, the action of thanking donors and informing them how their contribution has made a difference gives you a 50% chance of these donors giving again the next time you ask.
So, inform donors when financial targets have been reached, when the project is underway and when milestones have been reached. Use photos and videos to demonstrate progress and success.
Donors will feel deflated and disillusioned if you are contacting them again for further donations months later if you have not previously communicated the impact of their earlier giving. Donors do not want to be merely viewed as a human ATM outlet.
There are many ways of demonstrating your appreciation. It could be a simple personal email, listing donors on a ‘thank you’ wall or in annual reports, a gift or certificate, or creating a unique experience such as a personal behind-the-scenes tour.
For example, Canberra Cavalry baseball team listed donors’ names in pavement bricks, Norwood Football Club has a range of acknowledgement options including donors’ names on field picket fences, while Geelong AFL club embroidered the names of donors in a special one-off playing jumper.
So, ensure that you take donors with you along your fundraising journey. Make them feel connected and appreciated and continually look to build your relationship with them. Make your success their success.
National Sales and Partnership Director