Hero Worship And Your Donors

Imagine if, after Superman first swooped down from the sky, Lois Lane said “Thanks, I promise you’ll never hear from me again.” That doesn’t make sense, does it? Then it doesn’t make sense to stop thanking and seeking out the support of your donors after they’ve been converted. The relationship is just beginning.

    During their session, “‘You Are a Hero!’ Emails that Raise More,” at bbcon 2017 in Baltimore, Md., Gaby Gollub, senior online marketing specialist for World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Ryan Wallace, director of digital media for Operation Smile, discussed how to keep donors connected to your organization’s mission and feeling integral to its success. Their tips included:

  • Bring donors within the narrative of your organization. Use compelling imagery and use different voices to get your story across. Let them know what is at stake and what their help can mean to your organization and the constituents you serve;
  • Keep donors updated. Tie engagement and reporting emails into your fundraising campaigns. Update donors on specific narratives and goal progress throughout campaigns;
  • Set the stage for them to be the hero and save the day. Provide them with stories with clear protagonists, villains, problems, and calls to action;
  • Provide messaging that is unique to them, whether they are a new donor, long-time donor, major donor, or one-time supporter. Think of unique ways to keep them involved such as petitions, e-cards, quizzes, surveys, videos, and the like. Make sure to be consistent in sending messages that say “thank you;”
  • Make the subject lines about them. Your cause needs the donor. Your donor means so much to your constituents. Your donor is ready to change the world. Make sure that your messaging is about how important your donor is from the very first words he or she is likely to read; and,
  • Listen. Ask for feedback and them know that what they are saying is valuable to your organization. When you learn about things that are troubling your donors, find ways to fix them.