Happy Valentine’s Day - hope you’re ready (!) – we thought we would share how you can get into the spirit and focus on loving your donors. Like in any good relationship, you should show your donors love all year, but it never hurts to highlight it even more on the day dedicated to “love.”
This post comes from Jeff Brooks, author of the Future Fundraising Now blog. He focuses on studying donors, getting to know them and most importantly, respecting them.
It’s a bit of a throwback from 2012, but he talks about 5 Reasons to Love your Donors. We were mSpired by his relationship focused strategy and his awesome tips on how to cultivate your supporters, so we thought we’d demonstrate how mobile fits in! .
- Thank donors for the same things you asked them for. (If you asked them to feed a hungry child, don't thank them for fighting world poverty.)
mTip:This is why mobile is an essential supporter engagement tool. It is easy and effective to segment subscribers, so you get the right message to the right person. One of our animal focused clients has a list that is segmented into dog people and cat people. You can bet that they aren’t texting their dog people thanking them about helping local cats!
- Write and design your thanks with just as much passion and precision as you write your ask. More, if possible.
mTip: We think (and hope) that nonprofits understand the importance of a thank you. It’s great to send a handwritten thank you letter within 48 hours of a donation, but you can also send an immediate and personalized thank you text message. You should plan on thanking your donors 7 times. If you send a text and a handwritten note, that’s two down.
While a basic text message is a good start, don’t be afraid to get creative! Use SMS to send donors links to thank-you videos created by your board or executive director. Drive them to a blog post about how their donations help. Make sure they understand that you appreciate their gift, and you’re not just waiting until you can ask for more money to say thanks.
Additionally, tell you mobile community why you are thankful…and dig deep. They know they are helping your cause, but why are you as an organization so appreciative of all they do? As a volunteer, it would make my day to get a thank you text from an organization that I was really passionate about.
- Have a newsletter, and make sure it's all about the great things your donors make possible.
mTip: Newsletters are highly effective, especially if they highlight – and motivate - your supporters. Send a text to remind your subscribers to check their email or visit your website to read the newsletter. Get even more specific and tease your favorite story to really pique their interest.
Is your newsletter mobile friendly? Include a link in your text message so they can look over it on their lunch hour. Don’t forget to try some A/B testing and link tracking to see what really works for your audience.
- Don't have a braggy, look-at-us brand. Build your brand around the concrete ways your donors can change the world by giving to your organization. Give your supporter a reason to promote your cause and share how their friends can be part of the solution.
mTip: We are sure you already know that it’s worth more to have your supporters promoting you than it is to always be promoting yourself. With stats that show that 15-18% of donations are referred from Facebook, and that Twitter can increase fundraising 10 times, mobile is an excellent way to encourage supporters to get their friends involved with your cause. Use the mGive Social Share tool to get your mobile subscribers touting their donations and volunteerism on their favorite social media channel to drive awareness and further action.
- Give donors choices about how -- how often and what type [of messages] -- you'll communicate with them. And don't wait for them to complain. Offer choices up front.
mTip: This is one reason why we love mobile so much! It is a completely permission based channel, a much cleaner way to build a list. If your supporters have subscribed to your mobile database, that means they want to hear from you. They are asking to be communicated with via text message. Take that one step further and ask them how often and what information they want to hear about. Giving them information when and how they want it will keep them subscribed to your community and interested in what you have to say.
Don’t forget to check out the original post for a few additional tips that we couldn’t fit into this blog post. Hopefully you are mSpired to show your donors some love, today, and for the rest of the year!
Do you have some mSpired ways to show donors love all year long? Share them in the comments below.