Jerry Panas is a guru amongst gurus when it comes to fundraising. Recently, I read this in one of his emails:
We find that donors who give continuously for four years will continue giving if shown the proper appreciation and applause. You need to celebrate the gift. They will not break the chain.
The problem is that if they give the same amount for four years, four out of five are likely to give that amount again and will not increase.
Your job is to get them to a higher level in the second or third year.
When we do an internal assessment, if I find somebody has given the same amount for seven or eight years, I think what a great friend of the organization. I also say to the client, “Shame on you. You haven’t done anything to increase the level of giving.”
It’s true. People tend to give at the same level over and over if you don’t do something to upgrade them.
And how do you encourage donors to increase their giving? You build trust. Tell them what you’ve done with their gift. Show them how their donation made a difference in peoples’ lives. Help them feel like valued part of your work. Praise them. Invite them to see firsthand what their gift has made possible.
The bottom line is this: it’s all about how people feel. If they feel good about their experience with your nonprofit, they’ll give again. If they feel warm and fuzzy about impacting peoples’ lives, they’ll give more often. If they feel like they’re a part of the family, they’ll give larger gifts.
What can you do TODAY to help your donors feel warm and fuzzy?