Tips To Cultivate Your Loyal Donors


What You'll Learn


I’m certainly not a hunter or a consumer of game, but as a fundraiser, this expression really resonates with me these days:

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

A lot of fundraisers right now are scrambling to meet monthly goals and to find new sources of income.  Of course we all are— there’s a lot at stake. But we mustn’t lose sight of the donors we have, whether they’ve given since the pandemic struck or not.  

Let’s all put on our thinking caps, get creative, and get out there and thank our donors from the bottom of our hearts.  You’ve gotta do it like you mean it.  And I know you mean it.  Because donors keep your good work going.

Here are some ideas to get your creative thinking going:

  1. SHARE YOUR CONCERNS. It’s ok to say COVID-19 has impacted your ability to raise funds and to let your donors know that you need them now more than ever.
  2. FOCUS ON YOUR DONORS. Think about getting granular with your $500+ or $1,000+ lapsed and saying not only how much you miss them, but referencing what cause or issue they last supported and talking about how that work might still be ongoing or how their gift enabled you to achieve your goal.  Share a new related project that they can support.
  3. APOLOGIZE if thank you notes were in any way delayed because of COVID.  An apology could lead to a constructive conversation and an upgrade or extra gift.
  4. CALL. Get on the phone.  In times like this, communication is key.
  5. FOCUS ON NEW HIGH VALUE DONORS.  Generate a list of the highest new donors and send them special notes or call them.
  6. SEGMENT THANK YOUS BY LOYALTY. If someone renewed at the same level, specify it and thank them not only for the gift, but for their loyalty and consistency.
  7. PROVIDE HOPE. Share some good news and success stories!

If you have other ideas, or if you’d like to share how you used this information to improve your donor relationships, we’d love to hear about it.

And please accept my thanks.  It is the work that you do that keeps good circulating in this world.  We need you now more than ever.

With best wishes,

Faircom New York

About the author
Corinne Servily
Founder and President of Faircom NY

Corinne provides strategic guidance for every client—based on decades of experience in the fundraising industry. Her successes have led to her being recognized as the sixth best fundraising consultant in the US.

Beginning with the establishment of Doctors Without Borders’ US fundraising program, her expertise in supporting overseas organizations entering the US market has made her a highly sought after authority in the fundraising world.

Corinne has been the keynote speaker at many fundraising conferences, including the King Baudouin Foundation Conference in New York, the Swiss Fundraiser’s Conference in Geneva, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals in Paris.

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