Stay In Touch With Your Donors: 7 Easy Ways

By Wes Moon

The last couple of weeks, we’ve been sharing year-end fundraising tips to help your nonprofit finish the calendar year strong! To stay in touch with your donors is important all year, but it’s especially important at year-end when many donors are thinking about giving back.

Staying in touch with donors year-round is key for fundraising revenue growth – people give to causes that they feel connected to.

Just think, if you had a friend who only comes to speak with you when they need something and otherwise you never hear from them, you’re not going to feel very good about that relationship. And eventually you probably won’t want to help them anymore. It works the same way in fundraising with your donor relationships.

It’s important that your donors are informed about your nonprofit’s activities and impact.

We’ve made it super easy for you! Follow these 7 easy ways to stay in touch with your donors:

1. Host a thank-a-thon
Making a lot of donor thank you calls can seem overwhelming, but by hosting a thank-a-thon can make it fun and manageable. And your donors will really appreciate the personal outreach, especially annual level donors who don’t normally receive personal touchpoints.

Here’s how you can host your own holiday thank-a-thon.

Gather a team of staff and volunteers to be your “thankers”
Determine how many donors each person can call in the thank-a-thon timeframe
Choose which donors to prioritize, a good place to start are mid-level donors who you can’t prioritize for personal outreach, loyal annual donors – think 5+ years of giving, and your monthly donors
Use your CRM to find these donors and record your thank you calls!

2. Send an Impact Report
One of the most important reasons you should keep in touch with your donors at year-end is to keep them informed of your nonprofit’s impact. If they see that the money they’ve already given is doing great work they will want to donate again.

Impact reports are a great way to display impact and cultivate donor relationships. If you can’t afford to mail all of your donors an impact report, you can also create an easy online version and send it out by email.

Your impact reports can also be revenue generating, when donors read about your great work they may want to make another donation. Make it easy by providing the URL to an online donation form and including a reply envelope. Just make sure any fundraising ask doesn’t overpower the stewardship!

3. Stay in Touch with Holiday Cards
If it fits with your nonprofit’s brand you can send out holiday cards at year-end for donor stewardship and cultivation. A card is a great way to show donors that your nonprofit is thinking of them and is grateful for their support.

For mid-level and major gift donors you can include a handwritten message to make this outreach really personal. If you have the capacity to do so you can also do this for select annual and monthly donors – volunteers can help!

Outside of the holidays you can send hand signed cards at any time of year to thank donors of any level for their giving. If you don’t have a mailing address for a donor, an e-card can also be a nice outreach tactic.

4. Share Success Stories and Mission Outcomes
Did you just receive an awesome beneficiary story, or maybe some great statistics about the success of one of your new programs? Send a quick email to your donors to let them know!

Sending out a quick success story or new mission outcome statistics is a great way to send a quick but meaningful thank you to donors that will cultivate a relationship. This is great for mid-level and major donors because you can send a personal update really quickly.

This kind of short update is great for the holiday season because you and your donors are both busy.

5. Stay in Touch Via Email
Email can be a quick and easy way to touch base with donors at year-end. You can use email to send donors a quick mission update, maybe include a success story, thank them for their support and wish them well for the holiday season.

It’s also a good idea to let donors know how they can make a year-end gift if your offices are going to be closed over the holidays.

You can also use email to reach out to annual and mid-level donors through e-blasts. Use data tags in your email to make it as specific as possible to each donor to include their name and even their giving history. Mass email campaigns allow you to reach a lot of donors at a low cost.

6. Keep Track of Actions
To make sure you’re optimizing your donor outreach, it’s really important that you keep track of your interactions with donors in your CRM and your fundraising portfolio. This helps prevent redundant outreach, like including a donor in a thank-a-thon when they just got a thank you call. So it saves your team time.

It also ensures that you can easily see which donors you haven’t reached out to in a while so that no one falls through the cracks. Tracking outreach actions also keeps the whole fundraising team in the loop in case someone needs to take over a donor from another fundraiser, they’ll have a complete record of interactions.

7. Use Wisely’s Moves Management
An easy way to determine your donor cultivation and stewardship steps is to use moves management strategy. This strategy will help fundraisers know when it’s time to reach out to donors to cultivate, steward, and ask for the next gift.

Wisely fundraising portfolio software was built with moves management strategy in mind, supported by AI insights. Wisely tells you when a donor is ready to give, thereby prompting you to get in touch and make the right ask at the right time.

Your fundraising portfolio is one of the most valuable tools that your team has for donor outreach at year-end. With these easy ways to reach out to donors, and Wisely, you’ll be ready to meet your year-end goals!

Excited about what Wisely can do for your fundraising goals! Click on the link below to watch Wisely in action!

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