There Isn’t A PIN Number For Them

It’s okay to follow up if you don’t get an initial response after a job interview, stating your case as to why you would be a good fit for the position. It’s not okay, however, to barge into the CEO’s office, stating that you need money right now.

Are you providing that same respect to your donors, or are you just asking without giving much in return?

During the Bridge to Integrated Marketing conference in National Harbor, Md., John Graves of Eidolon Communications, Margaret Cohen of Population Services International and Alia McKee, Sea Change Strategies, presented “Donors Aren’t Your ATMs: Build Brand, Relationships, and Revenue with Innovative Donor Stewardship.”

The three discussed ways to keep your donors interested without overwhelming them with asks:

* Asking does not a relationship make. Engaging donors through quizzes, stories, and opportunities to learn more without always following with an ask is a great way to build a relationship with your donors and make them feel knowledgeable about your cause.
* Spend more time on you ‘Thanks Yous.’ Many organizations spend weeks laboring over asks and mere seconds polishing their ‘Thank Yous’ to donors. Include a note from a beneficiary or insert a decal so donors can spread the word to make your thank you letters stand out.
* Pay attention to your mid-level donors and “mind the gap.” Many are likely to donate again if you keep them in the know.
* Donor surveys are also a great way to receive feedback on what you’re doing well and how you can improve the donor experience.
* Delay cornerstone mailings for recent donors to achieve maximum effect.