This blog focuses on the world of prospect research and various related fundraising topics. To diversify our subject matter, we like to feature the work of our friends and colleagues in the community. Join me in welcoming Jess Confer of GiveGab, and please enjoy this post on surprising donor traits.
3 Things You Might Not Have Known About Your Donors
1.They really don’t care about you.
Yes, I know, this sounds harsh but hear me out! Your donors don’t give to you, they give through you. What your donor does care about is feeling good and needed. They want to be the heroes of the story.
Just think about it. How does it feel when someone talks about themselves for an entire conversation? It doesn’t feel good – right? It may even turn you off to that person. Likewise, how does it feel when someone praises you for doing a good job, asks for your opinion or asks you how you are doing?? It feels good, right? It shows that the other person genuinely cares and that they value what you have to say.
So when it comes to communicating with your donors, try not to inundate them with talk about your organization and your services. Don’t get me wrong, your services are important and better served being included in a grant application.
What your donors do care about is feeling needed and important. They are the heroes! They are the missing puzzle piece! Without them, you wouldn’t be able to sustain those services for the beneficiaries you serve.
2. They want to be in the loop.
I cannot tell you how many times I receive an initial “Thank You” email but then never hear from the organization again! (At least not until the next appeal many moons later!)
You don’t need a reason to reach out to your donors. Keeping your donors in the loop and keeping the lines of communication open is donor stewardship at its best. Just take a look at what Charity: Water sent me in regards to my personal fundraiser I ran with them last year:
This is a great example of showing your donor the direct impact of their gift and how without them it wouldn’t be possible!
3. They have preferences that matter
Your donors have preferences when it comes to how they like to be contacted. Some prefer to be contacted via email, while others may love receiving snail mail! With that in mind, have you ever considered asking your donors how they prefer to be communicated with?
Why? Because your donors are more likely to respond to you if you are showing you genuinely care about their preferences. Plus, you’re reaching them where they like to be reached so they’re more likely to listen!
Dr. Adrian Sargeant, a renowned marketing professional specializing in charities, said this of donors:
“…once donors are in a relationship with a charity, their focus shifts from what the charity does for its beneficiaries to how the relationship makes them feel.”
Make your donors feel needed, included, and cared about in your communications and interactions with them. After all, they are the lifeblood of your organization and cultivating your donor relationships can be a truly rewarding experience.
Jess Confer is the Creative Director at GiveGab, the Nonprofit Giving Platform. She and her team enjoy creating helpful content for nonprofits so they can better cultivate relationships with their supporters.