A Baker’s Dozen Ways To Keep Donors

A Baker’s Dozen is 13 doughnuts. That doesn’t have to be an unlucky number. In fact, that extra bakery delight might actually be pretty lucky depending on the staff’s hunger level.

Here are 13 ideas for keeping donors just as happy. These ideas come from numerous sessions at recent fundraising conferences.

  1. Give your donors what they need, prioritizing self-actualization, esteem, love and belonging, safety and physiology;
  2. The six tools for influence are reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof and testimonials, authority, liking and scarcity;
  3. Write an institutional case for support, four to six pages detailing organizational vision, track record and why others should get involved;
  4. Develop research and then evaluate it;
  5. Stories move people. Find them. Get to know people. Take advantage of events that bring staff together;
  6. Be inquisitive. Asked for memorable moments or what inspires them. Ask clients how their lives would be without the organization;
  7. Always say “thank you” and mind as many ways as possible to say it.
  8. Continue cultivating Millennials. While not moving the current bottom line much, creating commitment among Millennials now can become lucrative in the future;
  9. Everyone in the organization is a fundraiser. It’s important for employees across the organization to collect names and promote the organization at conferences and other events;
  10. Create a spreadsheet that shows organizational actions at different donor thresholds, $1 to $99, $100 to $499, all the way up.;
  11. Know what content works in each channel you use;
  12. Don’t avoid popular culture. Virtual reality and Pokemon Go are two examples. Video can work, but not always; and,
  13. Do it again, maybe. Your best appeal last year might be key to acquisition this year.

This post first appeared in The Nonprofit Times, January 29, 2019