Over the last year, charities have had to double down on efforts to retain their regular donors. Stewardship has to play an important role, not only in demonstrating the continuing impact of donations but also in maintaining awareness and keeping the cause front-of-mind of your donors. However, it can be difficult to keep donors switched on through traditional methods such as a generic thank you email.
Here are 5 ways to get creative with stewardship, from offering an exclusive online portal to sharing big picture impact stories with your wider community:
An online community for your donors is a great way to bring people together for your cause. You can use this space to share new updates, create clubs for different types of donors (e.g. legacy donors) and invite donors to participate in fundraising activities.
Video is an extremely powerful tool for sharing experiences from your beneficiaries, and can be done with as little equipment as a mobile phone. Particularly on social media and websites, video is becoming the dominant format of storytelling, as prospects and donors can engage with beneficiaries no matter where they are in the world.
One of the best ways to say thank you to donors is by inviting them to events. Whether it’s a charity auction or a dinner to hear from beneficiaries, creating exclusive opportunities for your donors to feel your appreciation is a great way to engage with your charity. You can then follow up with an email tailored to event attendees, with some photos from the event and a link to view more on your online community.
The next time you speak to your donors on the phone, make note of personal details that they share on their record and catch up with them the next time you speak to them. Adding the personal touch can make all the difference and will help to increase affinity - plus, it gives you a reason to get in touch next time. If you’re looking for a CRM that will help you keep track of all your donor activity, including external activity such as phone calls and postal mailings, speak to the ToucanTech team.
Some charities produce an annual report to share their progress towards goals, fundraising income and breakdown of costs, and impact on their beneficiaries. While this is often produced as an internal document, you can share some topline figures with your donor base to further demonstrate the impact their donations have made.
Making your donors feel connected to your organisation is key for retention, so ensuring that stewardship is at the centre of your fundraising strategy is essential for long term success. While it has been difficult to maintain these connections during this period of isolation, many charities are finding new and innovative ways to say thank you to their biggest supporters and grow their communities online. To find out how your organisation can benefit from a better way to track and deliver exceptional donor experiences, speak to a member of the ToucanTech team.
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