3 ways to show #donorlove today

3 ways to show

If you’re a regular reader of my blog then you’re no stranger to the idea of #donorlove.

If you don’t know what it is yet or need a refresher – read this post.

Today I want to talk about HOW to show donors love.

What 3 things can you do today to show your donors more love, leading to higher retention and more dollars coming in your door?

Here they are:

#1 – Call all donors who make an online gift today.

You may have an excellent system in place that sends an automatic thank you message to online donors, or you may not. Either way, nothing beats the warm fuzzies that come from a real human voice saying thank you. It takes a few minutes max., and the rewards are greater than you can imagine. Plus – as a fundraiser, it feels great! Come on, try it!

#2 – Rewrite your thank you letter.

You know, that letter that goes out with tax receipts. The one you mail merge on autopilot whenever you get to your receipts. When was the last time you rewrote that letter? I was just chatting with a fundraiser the other day who rewrote her organization’s thank you letter and it hadn’t been updated for three years. That means potentially that the same donor got the same thank you letter three years in a row. Don’t let that happen to you! Freshen it up, and make sure it’s filled with words that make the donor receiving it feel special and really proud of the impact they’re making (hint – use this word a lot).

#3 – Hand-address any envelopes you send out today.

Whether it’s a thank you note or even a solicitation letter, write the address on the envelope with a real pen, held in your real hand. When I reach in my mailbox, all the envelopes I pull out look the same – whether it’s a bill from my cell phone company, a statement from my bank, or a letter from a charity. Isn’t that awful?! So let’s try to be the exception – let’s make our letter look different. Let’s make it look more personal, more real, more enticing. Hand-addressing it is a great start.

That’s it! 3 things you can to do today to show your donors more love.

That’s not so hard, is it?


Here’s one more way to show your donors more love: attend
The #DonorLove Rendezvous on May 11, 2016 in Toronto.

“But I heard it was sold out?”

You’re right, it is! But thanks to the support of three incredible women – Gwen Chapman, Shanon Doolittle, and Beth Ann Locke – we are able to offer 10 bursaries to attendees.

To apply to this SOLD OUT event, click here.



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Written by Maeve Strathy

Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in fundraising for over nine years. Click here to learn more about Maeve.

Connect with Maeve via:
Twitter | LinkedIn | Email

It’s time to talk about #DonorLove

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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.

Connect with Maeve via:
Twitter | LinkedIn | Email