Deeper relationships lead to increased giving. You already know that.

But did you know that these relationships also create loyal donors?

People who feel connected with an organization see themselves as a part of the solution.  As long as the believe that “you + me = we” and we’re changing lives together, they’ll stick around for a long time.

Here are 5 tips that are critical for deepening those all-important relationships and creating loyal donors.

1. Spend more face time with your donors. This is the BEST way to get to know them. Take them to lunch, meet them for coffee, or find another way to spend time together. When you’re with them, put your radar on and tune in to them. Pay attention to what makes them smile and what peaks their curiosity. This is your chance to learn what makes them tick.

2. Increase donor-focused communications.  Relationships are KEY in raising money and in order to build them, you have to communicate. This means you need to be sending more interesting and relevant updates about the work your nonprofit is doing and telling stories about the outcomes you’re seeing. The key words here are interesting and relevant.

3. Listen more, talk less.  As you spend time with your donors and get to know them, follow this simple rule – listen more, talk less.  If you do all the talking, how will you learn anything about your donor?  Ask open-ended questions and get your donor talking so you can find out about the deepest desires of their heart.  Find out why they care about your organization.  Learn what motivates them to write that check.  The more you understand, the better job you can do of matching them with opportunities to give that make their heart sing.

4. Help your donors feel special.  This is key!  Donors want to know that they made a difference. They want to belong to a group that is making change. And they want to be more than just “donor #5576” on your list. So, help them feel special.  Thank them warmly and sincerely for their gift.  Respond immediately to any questions they might have.  Go the extra mile to let them know the impact their gift has made.  Communicate with them often.  Get to know them and what they’re interested in.  Do whatever you have to do to build trust. Donors who feel they’re a part of something important, and feel appreciated and needed become quite loyal to your organization!

5. Ask them what they think. People LOVE to give their opinion!  So ask. Ask your donors what they think about the work your organization is doing.  Ask them for their thoughts on your strategic plan.  Ask for their advice on your upcoming fundraising campaign.  See who they think you should be talking to in the community.  Just ask (and ye shall receive!).



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