Getting to Know Your Donors Better
Whether you’re a new development director or have donors who quietly mail an annual donation to your organization without attending any events, you probably don’t know all of your organization’s supporters. Since your other fundraising activities may be on pause due to COVID-19, now is a perfect time to pick up the phone and get to know your donors. How do you begin to engage these donors you do not know?
- Make a phone call and introduce yourself. Share what you do at the organization, how long you have been there and why you enjoy working at your nonprofit.
- Recognize their contributions to your organization and thank them for the impact they have made with their previous support.
- Ask questions. Inquire how they and their family are doing and adjusting to life through this pandemic.
- Ask more questions. If it feels appropriate, ask why they contribute to your organization. Are there programs your organization offers that they are drawn to support? What is their history with your organization? The donor’s answers will help you gain knowledge about how they want to help and can assist in tailoring future proposals for their consideration.
- Share updates about your organization. Disclose how the pandemic has impacted your organization or changed how you deliver services. Describe how the projects they care about most have been affected by the current pandemic and how you plan to overcome any obstacles.
- Connect donors to ways they can participate in your nonprofit. Provide details about an upcoming virtual event or program. If it seems appropriate during the conversation, suggest ways they can volunteer or support your organization financially at this time.
- Thank the donor for their time, the chance to get to know them and support for your organization. Follow-up with a thank-you note, either through an email or handwritten card.
Stay in touch. Continue to reach out to these donors throughout the year and provide updates to further strengthen your relationship.