Building A Culture That Values Donors

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These are slides from the Institute of Fundraising Supporter Journey Conference 2018. 

Here are some notes from the presentation: 

  • People emotionally invest in donating. Make sure you’re managing this!
  • Change the conversation from acquisition to retention. Focus on your current supporters.
  • Reorganise your process so that the development department knows first that a donation has been made NOT finance.
  • Call people to thank them for their donation. In the charity sector there is a race to say thank you. Your donor has most likely supported to someone else as well as you; they will remember their first and last thank you.
  • Talk less about what the brand is doing and more about what the donor is doing.
  • Handwritten thank you cards 
    • Include something that says you’re known to the charity.
    • A nod to the reason why they donated.
  • Communicate with major donors/trusts/foundations every 6 weeks
  • Through just changing their thank you process, retention rates rose to 79%
  • To say a big thank you, a personalised video was sent (as an email attachment of via WhatsApp) to 1,242 donors featuring the person that their donation had affected.
    • 88 unique videos, 9 hours of filming
    • Sent to major donors, trusts, regular donors
    • 23% replied (unsolicited)

There are 7 ways in which you can create a culture that values donors:

  1. Donate – You donate to the causes you care about. Mystery shop. How can you encourage people to donate if you don’t practice it yourself?
  2. Convince yourself it’s the right thing to do – cherish and thank your donors
  3. Convince others that it’s the strategic thing to do – communicate what you’re learning and achieving with the CEO/Board/SLT
  4. Measure for it – set goals, measure them, measure everything. If you’re not measuring it, it’ just an illusion.
  5. Make sure your systems support it – trust your database
  6. Reward and celebrate it – don’t just reward financial, reward behaviours!
  7. Create budget for it - spend money on your donors e.g personalised thank you’s
  8. Ask: who else needs to know this information?

What is the value that we want to give our donors?

Small data. What thank you is appropriate to them? What experience is appropriate to them?