5 Positive Impacts Of Being Direct With Your Donors

April 10, 2018       THE NONPROFIT TIMES      

Have you ever heard the phrase “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander?” For centuries, we’ve known that what makes those we care about happy generally has positive effects for us as well. The business world is no different, with Deloitte LLP finding that customer-centric organizations are 60 percent more profitable than their peers.

    This effect translates to nonprofits and how they interact with supporters, according to Gaby Gollub, senior online marketing specialist for World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Ryan Wallace, director of digital media for Operation Smile. During their session, “‘You Are a Hero!’ Emails that Raise More,” at bbcon 2017 in Baltimore, Md., Gollub and Wallace discussed the importance of messaging that commends and highlights the positive traits of the donor. Using examples of WWF marketing materials, the two discussed the following suggestions:

  • Emphasize in your organizational messaging that the donor is the hero of your nonprofit’s story. They end hunger, save animals, and cure diseases. Their generosity makes your work possible. Focus messaging on how they are good people;
  • Don’t be afraid to eschew subtlety. Come out and make your point. WWF messaging, for instance, features pictures of polar bears and tigers with messages such as “Be my hero” and “Be the hero nature needs all year long;”
  • Test messaging. WWF will, for instance, test images with different text among donor segments and track which combination draws the best response;
  • Give supporters something specific that your organization is looking to achieve and that the donor can help further. WWF messaging might include an image of elephants with a message seeking help to stop elephant poaching; and,
  • Connect donors with your organization and let them know how much they mean to you. Personal touches such as thank you messages and videos depicting the difference the donor is helping your organization make furthers the goal of making donors feel important and valued.