The donor experience is a bit like relationships. If you don’t contact your donor after they’ve given you their best effort, they’ll feel unimportant. If you contact them daily to talk about yourself and demand commitment, they’ll run – fast!
In contrast, a considerate, strong welcome journey will delight them and build trust. Here’s a rundown on the elements of a strong welcome journey that you can implement for true donor nurturing success!
Say ‘thank you’ in a personal, non-generic way
After they first donate – thank your supporters! We can’t stress how crucial this is in keeping donors on board.
Donors favour an email or a letter in the post that’s from an individual who is the face of the organisation, such as the CEO. This should be concise, warm and conversational… and personalised if possible. The most important ingredient is expressing thanks for the donor’s gift and how it will make a difference.
Briefly include a small spiel about your organisation from the perspective of the writer, and why the cause is so important to him or her, identifying common ground in values and motivation is such a personal way to connect with the reason your supporter gave, so be sure to acknowledge it.
Other ways to communicate a thank you are through a handwritten card or phone call. Are you actively thanking your donors?
Give them something to commemorate the bond: create a welcome pack
We all love to be celebrated and recognised for our efforts. The same holds true for those who newly invest in your mission. A welcome pack is an incredible way to show you value their unique contribution, it says that you saw them walk through the door and you’re so glad they did.
Here’s what to send in your welcome pack a few days after the thank you:
> A STORY
Share a stand-out story about one of your organisation’s beneficiaries with a photo of them. Use wording like, “your gift helps children like Jasmine to go to school.” You’ll be showing the donor what your mission is all about, plus their important role, instead of just telling them.
> INVITE THEM TO CONNECT MORE
Let them know how they can connect with you more. You can invite them to subscribe to your newsletter (and then incorporate a welcome series of emails), visit your website or give them instruction on how to follow you on social media. When using social media as an organisation, consider a more relationship-building strategy for how you use your channels. Simply pushing out content with no engagement strategy will be a wasted effort. Look for ways to truly connect and be social on your social accounts.
> A SHORT SURVEY
This will help you get to know them and will show them you care. Ask how they heard about you, what issues are most important to them and whether they prefer to be emailed or receive printed communication.
> THE GIFT THEY WANT MOST
If you want to send a gift, we’d advise keeping it small, such as a bookmark. Your donors care most about your cause and will therefore want appreciation more than anything. Any premium that appears to be too expensive may leave a bad taste in their mouth with how you use the supporter dollar.
Facts presented in a brochure or fact sheet is an easy-to-digest element. PS: Just make sure you don’t overwhelm them with too much information!
With a strong welcome pathway, your donors will start to feel like they belong to a community of like-minded people. They’ll be wanting to give again and proud to stand with you… just like any blossoming relationship.