You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been writing and tweeting a lot about #DonorLove lately. It all started when Rory Green told me she was coming to Toronto for work and that she’d love to stop in to Kitchener-Waterloo and “do something with me”. When Rory asks to do something with you, you say “yes” first and ask “what?” later. After some brainstorming, we asked the Agents of Good, Jen Love and John Lepp, to join us for a morning session on #DonorLove. We wanted to present on how to show #donorlove to your donors, whether you were communicating with 20 individuals at any given time, or 2000! 50+ people crammed into our venue in Kitchener and the session was fantastic. We realized we had something here…
Now, what is donor love? (I’m going to stop using the hashtag for now.) A lot of people think first of stewardship, and that’s a huge part of it. To me, donor love is a lens us fundraisers need to look through to ensure our donors are at the heart of what we do. Another commonly used word for this is donor-centric. Program staff at charities will focus on the cause and the work of our organization; we need to focus on the donors.
What can donor love look like? The opportunities are limitless! For me, it could be about taking the time to write a handwritten thank you note to accompany a tax receipt rather than run a mail merge and print out a bunch of identical, impersonal thank you letters. It could be a phone call out of the blue to a donor to say thank you for a gift they made last year. It’s dozens of small touch points that make your donors feel great; that make your donors love being donors.
Why donor love? We all know how critical donor retention is, especially these days. Our old bag of tricks is no longer effective, and we need to work harder than ever before to make our donors feel valued and willing to continue directing their philanthropy towards our cause. We have to show them love like they’ve never felt before and show them that we can’t do what we do without them, because the truth is… we can’t.
Donor satisfaction is oft talked about, but I haven’t heard of anyone who’s getting it totally right. It’s time for a serious discussion about this. It’s time for a meeting of the minds. It’s time for…
The #DonorLove Rendezvous!
Join passionate, inspiring, and creative fundraisers like yourself on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 for a day-long conversation about #DonorLove in Toronto, Ontario Canada.
Visit www.donorlove.ca today for more information, and to register with a $99 limited-time super early bird registration rate.
I can’t wait to see you there!
Written by Maeve Strathy
Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in fundraising for over eight years. Click here to learn more about Maeve.