While some people may not be the biggest fans of Valentine’s Day, why not make it about more than romantic love this year? Today, we’re sharing five simple ways that your not-for-profit organisation can show your donors some love, and transform Valentine’s Day into a celebration of love and care for humankind and the world around us. While showing appreciation to your donors is a year-long activity, Valentine’s Day offers a unique opportunity to communicate with your supporters in a way that sends a clear message: that they matter, and they make a difference. These tips will help you show your donors that you see them, you appreciate them, and that they are an important part of your organisation’s community.
Say Thank You
Thanking your donors is about more than gratitude and etiquette – it’s a way of nurturing those important relationships to help sustain them into the future. Avoid being an organisation whose donors only hear from you when you want something from them – be proactive about your communication, and show your donors how much their support means to you. Whether it’s a handwritten note, a personalised email, or a creative direct mail piece, getting in touch to let your supporters know that they are seen, loved and appreciated could go a long way. Importantly here – you’re not asking for anything. Instead, you’re creating a connection with your donors, reminding them of your organisation and why they care about your mission, and showing them the impact that their support is having.
2. Pick up The Phone
Choose a specific segment of your supporters, and call them to say thank you. Phone calls are deeply personal forms of communication, and they can go a long way towards building trust. Make it a priority to schedule time on your calendar to speak with donors over the phone.
3. Encourage People to Give the Gift of Love
Do you have (or can you create) a programme that would allow people to donate on behalf of a loved one? Some great examples are the IFI’s Name Your Seat Campaign, Smock Alley’s Buy a Brick Campaign, and UNICEF Ireland’s Cupid’s Care Box. The Glucksman’s Love Bug Crafting Tutorial demonstrates a great way to connect with your supporters in a way that’s unique to your organisation, and the Irish Heart Foundation’s Love Run shows how you can get existing and potential donors involved in your organisation in a real and tangible way. And for those all-important Valentine’s Day cards, the ISPCA’s ‘I Woof You to the Moon and Back’ cards are a great example of an affordable, accessible way for people to engage with your organisation.
Get creative here – there are countless ways that you can offer personalised donor recognition that people will be excited to share with their loved ones.
4. Spotlight your Supporters on Social.
While some supporters wish to donate anonymously, many people appreciate being recognised for their support and impact, particularly corporate partners. Celebrate your donors by publicly thanking them on social media. Either share what they mean to your organisation, or even ask them to share what your organisation means to them. Sharing a company or an individual’s personal giving story is a great way to both nurture a lasting relationship with current donors while capturing the attention of potential donors. Remember – it’s important to make sure that your donors are comfortable with being addressed publicly, so be sure to get their permission first.
5. Plan a Donor Engagement Event
Donor engagement events are a great way to help your donors feel cared for. Virtually or in-person, an event like this should be all about donor impact. Share stories about all that your supporters have made possible – whether those stories come from clients, beneficiaries, or staff members. These events exist to build trust, create a dialogue with your donors, and help to show the alignment between your donors’ interests, and your organisation’s mission.
Bonus Number 6 – Review your Donor Stewardship Strategy.
Valentine’s Day might be but once a year, but it’s vital that your donors feel the love all year round. Check in on your existing donor care strategy, and look for any gaps that you might be able to fill. Think about:
- The frequency of your communications
- The level of personalisation in your communications
- How you share your impact (and your donor’s impact!)
- How well you know your donors (their giving history, their birthday, their communication preferences.)
- Creating unique experiences for specific donor groups
- Making sure your donation process is as user-friendly and visually-pleasing as possible
With these tips, we hope that you can show your donors exactly how much they mean to your organisation, and nurture those important relationships so that they can grow and be sustained long into the future.