When was the last time that you as a fundraiser or marketing director took some time to listen to your charity's donors, to their views of how your charity is doing and their discriptions of how your charity goes about its business of changing the world?
The simple truth is that if you are not listening to what your donors are saying and belive me, they are saying something, then you will not be able to build relationships with them.
Think about it - endless surveys from different quarters of our sector indicate that the typical donor today is likely to have a University degree and a healthy distrust in institutions be it political or charitable. He or she are likely to be individuals who are looking to bond with - not simply support, organisations or people groups (causes) that exhibit similar values to their own.
If this typical donor is your charity's donor or, if these kind of donor is the one you are trying to attract what kind of compelling donor experience does your charity offer to them?
More to the point what kind of marketing strategy provide such experience and what would that look like?
Here are a couple of examples:
Bonding with new donors
When you become a new donor to Evergreen Family Friendship Services - a charity promoting family values in China in addition to the standard welcome/ thank you letter you receive a beautifully crafted card with a personalised message of gratitude for the new donor's partnership with Evergreen. Just a simple personal touch that makes the donor feel valued rather than another number in the database.
Welcoming donors and enquirers to the hub of the charity
Self-guided tours are now possible at the headquarters of a large international development charity. State of the art displays and kiosks mark different stages of this charity's development and enable the visitor to get a clear picture of the charity's achievements in the last 30 years. Add to this a lovely cafe and an interesting challenge issued by various charity staff members or volunteers inviting the visitor to get involved in different aspects of this charity's work and you have a wonderful experience of the heart of the charity that can satisfy even the most curious of donors or enquirers.
What about your charity?
If you too have created some compelling experiences for your donors and volunteers please feel free to share in the space below.