Nonprofit Guide: Communications tips to attract new donors

Nonprofit Guide: Communications tips to attract new donors

Edited guest post from DonorBox.

In nature, every ecosystem survives and thrives as each moving part in the system does what it is supposed to. The same can be said for nonprofits. It is almost impossible for any nonprofit to survive without the grace of donors. Whether it is routine giving or online donations, nonprofits need donor networks to accomplish their goals.

To have a solid base of donors that give frequently, you need to establish active, transparent communications channels. The key is to have a conversation with donors across various touchpoints.

The essence of good communication

To maintain cashflow to your nonprofit, you need to ensure fluid communications between the organization and donors. The essence of good communication is that it should be reciprocated. You want to provide your donors with value instead of just repeatedly asking for their contributions. Let us take a look at seven tactics you can use to improve communication between you and your donors.

7 tactics for improved communication between you and donors

These tactics, if applied effectively, can yield some great results. Your donors will feel more attached to your cause and will contribute regularly.

1. Filter out donors and create tailored communications channels.

Not everyone communicates in the same manner you do. Therefore, it is important to segment donors into communication channels that will work for them. You can split them based on age, marital status, volunteer status, and donation size and frequency. Through this filtration process, you will be able to deliver content to your appealing donor groups, instead of a one-for-all communique. You can also use customized software like customer relationship management (CRM) to help you filter donors.

2. Use easy-to-read fonts.

Nonprofits should take special care in ensuring that the fonts they use are legible and in a size that is easy to read. Too often choosing a “fun font” results in illegible text, particularly at a distance or when scrolling.

3. Keep them in the loop.

People want to feel connected and wish to be a part of a bigger narrative. You must inform your donors about volunteering opportunities, fundraisers, and any events in the future. They want to know how their money is being used. Encourage more communication by providing them with ways to give feedback. A website feedback form, staff contact information, and live chat options are just some lines you can add to your communications.

4. Track their interests.

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People often contribute to causes that they feel are very dear to them. If you do not know what motivates donors to contribute, do not be afraid to reach out. Understanding your donors means you will be able to send them more effective communications. Once you get to know your donor better, you can send them information on what your nonprofit is doing in the sectors that interest them. Tie fundraising strategies to projects to track interest areas, and tie that information back to your CRM for future segmentation opportunities.

5. Give them a glimpse of the big picture.

Donors want to see the direction in which the nonprofit is headed. Show them the end goal. Show them who they are helping and how the little contributions add to the big picture over time.

Nonprofit goal messaging

6. Make it feel as if they are the solution.

Instead of asking to contribute, make your donors feel involved by telling them their contribution is the task. You can go one step further by appealing to them to get tasks done. You can turn them into volunteers, giving them ownership over the goal and building a lasting relationship.

7. Gratitude is key.

It is a simple rule and one that should come as no surprise, but showing donors your appreciation regularly is a must. Give them handwritten thank you notes, announce them by name at events, include their names in your reports, and put up a plaque for their contributions. You might also conduct an online auction to feature corporate or large donors, highlighting smaller sponsors and vendors with gift bags and other freebies.

All of these tips have one common theme: Make donors feel like they are a part of something bigger. The ask is simple: Contribute to something that can help the community. By establishing good communications and engaging in a conversation with your donors, you will retain them for longer and garner meaningful contributions.

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Sarah Williams

Founder & director of 816 New York and passionate about all things strategy and unity.

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