restaurant-person-people-handWithout people in the community – whether individuals who believe in your cause or large corporations to support your NFP- your organisation wouldn’t be around long enough to make any impact.

Donors are an NFPs life blood.

So why is it so many charities only talk to their donors when they want something? They only receive communication when another fundraising drive or campaign is approaching. The only opportunity for face to face interaction with you or your board members is at an event; which, mind you, they have paid for the privilege to be at.

It’s not that should start inviting them along to your events and other fundraising activities at no charge. That wouldn’t be very practical or sound business.

According to the author of the book, Date your Donors, Jonah Halper, suggests that you ‘woo’ them. The standard for interacting with donors is to treat them like a one-night-stand. No matter how much they experience a sense of fulfilment when they support you, they still also feel used.

In essence, they are partnering with you to help take your business to where it is you want it to be, and people like to feel acknowledge and be recognised for their contributions. If you have a community of supporters on social media, some donors who donate regularly, or have signed up for automatic donations on a regular basis, there are things you can to do acknowledge them and make them feel special.

If you like, you can think of it as a membership or club of some sort. Offer monthly teleconferences or webinars to your regular supporters, updating them on what you’re up to. You could also invite an expert on your cause or someone who has benefitted from your NFP to do a guest presentation, or a question and answer session.

Sending a thank you card on the anniversary of their first donation, or at some other time, outside of the usual Christmas cards, for example, can make the difference between someone feeling appreciated or feeling like a one-night-stand.

Dating your donors doesn’t have to be an expensive, time-consuming activity. There’s nothing wrong with doing special low-key events that leave your supporters feeling special. There is, however, a little wrong with always asking for something from them, and giving nothing back.

Date your Donors has loads of great ideas that cost very little, and give your supporters a heartfelt boost. If they know you appreciate them and what they do, they’re more likely to give back even more.