I’ve met with a lot of donors over the years. A lot. And there is one thing that comes up consistently that I thought I would share with you today. Understanding this universal fundraising truth can help grow your fundraising and prioritize your efforts. Afterall, who has time to waste on the things that don’t work, when your donors are telling you exactly what is important and does work.
So, what is so important to them?
Connection and recognition.
I hear a lot of donors say “ I am not doing this for the recognition, but…” and then go on to describe a time when an organization did some really meaningful recognition.
I’m not talking about a name on a wall or donor list. I’m talking about connection. Personalization. Meaning.
People give more and more consistently to organizations where they feel valued and where their contributions have an impact. They grow their support when they feel connected to the staff and programs. They stay committed when they feel like part of a community.
This is a huge benefit for people running small non-profits/organizations because donors who give medium or smaller amounts can get lost in the big organizations, but if you are a small shop, you can easily reach out to those people and make them feel more special.
This is the most cost effective way to increase your fundraising and build financial sustainability for your organization. It’s as simple as reaching out to your donors, personally, 3-4 times a year. Start with a thank you. Share the impact of their support. Build a relationship. Make them feel recognized.
This is also a very good opportunity to involve board members and volunteers to fundraise in a way that feels easy, comfortable, and authentic. Maybe they are not involved in the ask, but responsible for building and maintaining a close relationship.
Recognition doesn’t come from a name in lights, it comes from a personal and authentic connection. Take the time to get to know your donors and it will pay off, for you and them.