Be My Valentine? How Showing You Care Helps Donor Retention
There’s an undeniable feeling of love in the air when Valentine’s Day rolls around. We’re typically focused on one person for this romantic holiday, but for nonprofits, showing a little love to all your contributors is ideal.
Donor retention is far more economical than bringing in new donations. And while the “little things” that show you care should continue throughout the year, utilizing these Valentine’s Day donor “thank-yous” can go a long way in hanging on to your best donors.
Send Out Personal Valentine’s Cards
Most people have some lingering memories of Valentine’s Day in grade school. Sitting around waiting for cards to land on our desks – especially those with lollipops attached – was a bit of excitement in an otherwise dronish school day. Now imagine the feeling you’d get if all these cards showed up completely unexpectedly.
That’s the position your donors will be in. Most contributors don’t expect special Valentine’s Day notes from the places they donate to. You can have a batch of branded cards created, grab some materials and make your own, or simply send out a Valentine’s Day email. Whatever your route, the appreciation is the main point.
It’s About Giving – Not Receiving
One thing that far too many people forget about Valentine’s Day is the fact that it’s meant for giving. When you hand that box of chocolates to your significant other, it’s not in the expectation that you’ll get something in return. When donor retention is part of your organization’s survival, it’s imperative to remember this.
You have all year to directly ask for contributions. Thanking donors on Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be one of those opportunities. This should simply be about letting them know that you’re thankful for everything they do. Additionally, you can bet this simple ‘thank you’ will serve as a catalyst for further donations.
Don’t Be Overbearing
Most of us have been in a relationship that was smothered by one of those involved. Maybe we did it – maybe it was our significant other. Either way, this is an important lesson to remember when thanking your donors on Valentine’s Day. You’ll want to space out prior and subsequent communications to reduce the likelihood of donor fatigue.
Studies consistently show that contributors can become complacent with charitable appeals, and this can result in either a decrease or complete cessation of donations. Even if your Valentine’s Day message is about donor retention and not asking for money, recipients may view your contact as spammy if an appeal is also received soon before or thereafter.
Really Listen to Those Who Care
One of the biggest mistakes in any relationship is a lack of communication. This Valentine’s Day, it’s important to remember that this integral activity cannot be one-sided. Even contributors who understand the need for your appeals throughout the year can become annoyed if their feelings are never considered.
Ask your donors and volunteers what they think you could be doing better. After all, it’s rare for a relationship to have zero room for improvement. When sending out a Valentine’s ‘thank you’ for donors, give them a way to provide their own insight. Their suggestions could do wonders for your organization.
An easy way to do this is by sending out your Valentine’s Day ‘thank you’ via email or social media. This makes it very simple for everyone to provide feedback. Even if you don’t put each idea into use, sometimes simply knowing they’re being heard is enough to strengthen the donor relationship.
Give That Special Someone a Call
While most organizations might find it prohibitive to contact every contributor on Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to a few special supporters. Donor retention efforts should be utilized for everyone who makes a contribution, but we all know that the loss of certain backers could be even more detrimental to the organization.
Take some time to contact these donors and shoot them a ‘thank you’ this Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t have to be anything extensive. Imagine something like, “Hey! This is John from Puppies Across America. We just wanted to give you a call to say Happy Valentine’s Day and thank you for all your support. We appreciate the love you’ve shown us and hope you have a special day.”
‘Thank you’ calls are an important part of donor retention – this has been seen in just about every study on the subject. Of course, these relate to individual contacts following donations. Just imagine how happy a supporter will be when you reach out on Valentine’s Day not because they recently donated, but rather because you really appreciate them.
Create Valentine’s Day Video for Donor Retention
Sending out Valentine’s Day emails shows you care. Sending a physical card shows you have commitment. Creating a video to thank your donors on this day of love? That shows a level of appreciation that you simply cannot fake. Get your volunteers and staff together to create an awesome recording demonstrating your gratitude.
There are a variety of routes you can go with these videos. If you’re sending out physical cards, a video of everyone constructing them set to music could be viable. You could also do a bit of storytelling – which studies prove is an essential aspect of donor retention – to remind supporters exactly how their contributions are helping.
This Pinterest board has a variety of examples of donor ‘thank you’ videos that you can use for inspiration. Once you’ve crafted your message, make sure to post it on YouTube, social media platforms and in a Valentine’s Day email to all your supporters. This will increase the likelihood of every donor seeing your video.
Always Show Donors You Care
Recognition is one of the most important factors in donor retention. By creating an attitude of gratitude, you’ll ensure your contributors know that their efforts are appreciated. This is integral for continued donations. Thanking your donors on Valentine’s Day is a great idea, but just as is the case with our significant others, showing appreciation should never be a once-a-year event.
To learn more about how you can excel in donor retention, Schedule a Discovery Call with the experts at DonorWerx today.
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