Donor retention (how many donors continue to give to your organization after their first gift) is at an all-time low. It’s abysmal and worrisome.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals found that 70% of all donors that nonprofits recruit into giving a gift never donate again to that organization!
Can you imagine if Coca-Cola or Nabisco lost 70% of their customers every single year? They wouldn’t be able to survive.
Right now nonprofits are communicating with 5 distinct generations of donors.
Just because the majority of your donors may be in the 50-70 bracket, do not be lulled into thinking that they are not online. Nonprofit Tech for Good found that “boomers spend 19 hours a week online, and 71% use a social networking site daily with Facebook being the most popular. 36% of boomers ages 50 and over own a smartphone, and 32% own a tablet.” Your donors ages 74+ are the fastest-growing demographic on social networks.
People of all generations are online and using social media platforms. Use this fact to your advantage as social media channels can be an excellent way to strengthen donor relationships.
Here are just 4 ways that your nonprofit can use social media to build relationships with donors.
1) Bring people into the kitchen.
Once when I went out to a very nice dinner with my husband, the owner came over to our table and asked us how we liked the food. After we raved about it for about 10 minutes, he offered to take us to the kitchen and meet the chef.
We met the chef, got a brief tour of the kitchen, saw how things really worked and were even more blown away.
Needless to say, we are now lifelong customers of that particular restaurant.
How can you bring your donors into the kitchen – using social media? How can you make them feel special and more connected to your organization?
I’m not saying to literally invite people into your office, shelter or building (although that does work wonders). I’m advocating that you make a behind-the-scenes video, an intimate interview with leadership or some personal photos of volunteers doing what they do best.
Get creative, share your work online and reap the benefits!
2) Acknowledge and thank. Rinse and repeat.
Always be thinking of new ways that you can acknowledge donors, sponsors and supporters on your social media channels.
Thank them with no strings attached and no further ask.
Use Canva or PicMonkey to create a cute or inspiring graphic letting your donors know that they are appreciated and that they are more than checkbooks – they are an integral part of what makes your organization work day in and day out.
Shoot a short Vine or Instagram video thanking one donor or many. The goofier and funnier the better!
3) Always let donors know where their money is going.
Social media provides an amazing way to communicate with donors in real time. 73% of online adults use at least one social networking site daily!
Be where your donors are already and insert yourself into the conversation.
Make your donors smile when they see the results that they gift helped achieve.
Stay top of mind with daily Facebook postings, tweets and Instagram photos. Once you get into the groove and the social media mindset, you won’t be able to stop!
4) Host an exclusive online social media event.
This type of event can be a Google Hangout with the Executive Director and Board Chair or a public event such as a Tweetchat.
Online events require minimal planning (just make sure all the technology is working beforehand) and have the added benefit of providing you with a lot of content for your website, your email newsletter and your blog.
Talk with your donors to see what kind of online event they would like to participate in and get their suggestions and feedback. Would they invite their friends and colleagues? Would they like to be directly involved?
Getting donors involved in events is a surefire way to elicit goodwill and build loyalty.
Now it’s your turn – what ideas do you have for using social media to strengthen relationships with donors?
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