As fundraisers, we ask a lot of donors. We ask them to commit their hearts and minds to a shared mission. We ask them to commit their time and money. We even ask them to encourage their friends to commit to the cause.
But for all the commitment you’re asking of your donors, is your organization equally committing itself to them?
Are You Making the Same Commitment You’re Asking Donors to Make?
Here are two key commitments you should be making to your donors:
- A Commitment to Relationship Fundraising
Relationship fundraising means building interpersonal relationships with your donors in a way that makes them feel like a partner and increases their value over time. It’s much different than transactional fundraising, which focuses more on the goal of getting a specific dollar amount in the present.
The ability to renew and upgrade your donors is highly contingent on relationship fundraising. Building deeper relationships and understanding the way constituents expect to be treated is extremely important to consistent, long-term success.
We’ve found organizations that are focusing more on transactional-based fundraising—not treating their constituents as members of a family and a movement, and giving them stewardship when necessary—are more likely to be struggling.
- A Commitment to Intentional Donor Stewardship
A simple definition of stewardship is “the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving”. Healthy organizations are working hard to protect and preserve their donor relationships. They are guiding donors along the journey, and continually reinforcing the meaning, impact, and purpose of their giving.
Saying thank you to your donors is the table stake—it’s the minimum amount you should be doing. Today’s donor expects more. They’re expecting to experience your brand, and that comes in the form of stewardship. They’re expecting transparency around the impact you’re making with the investment that they’re providing you through their donation.
Creating those stewardship touchpoints and points of engagement with your donors in a sincere way and on a frequent, consistent basis is critical. And that can’t just happen with major donors. You have to make sure that you’re doing the appropriate stewardship at the mid-level and with small gifts to keep your retention intact.
When you commit to building long-term relationships and stewarding your donors throughout the journey, your donors will reward you with a greater commitment of their own that will make a lasting impact on your mission.
Learn more about the commitments your organization needs to make to create a healthier fundraising program—download “The Intelligent Fundraising Health Check” now.