Communicating with Donors

The charitable landscape is a very competitive one when communicating with donors by mail. Not-for-profit organizations must balance effective donor communication as there is a fine line when choosing not only how, but when to ask for money. But not every mailing has to be designed to seek donations. Keep reading and learn how Stewardship mailings can actually help you raise more money in the long run!

When communicating with donors by mail

Each charitable organization will have a slightly different approach. It is important to distinguish not only how and when you communicate, but through which channel. The overall strategic vision must balance between:

  • Social media
  • Email
  • Live events
  • Face to face meetings
  • Telephone calls
  • Direct mail

Each channel is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between charity and donor and also an opportunity to raise money in the long run.

With direct mail, the ability to reach a donor – on their time with a more passive approach is a tactic more and more charities are starting to fully embrace. The reason is simple – direct mail works. It is non-intrusive, it is tangible & it gives the sender the opportunity to communicate their story effectively.

By now, if you have been in the charitable game for any amount of time you most likely have your standard donation package. You have your donation letter, your #10 envelope and your return envelope. You know about one-time donations and monthly giving programs. You know that there is a good four-year window for your current donors, and you know that the prospects that you pick up this year will most likely be warm to your appeal next year. You have at least two mailings prepared for the year to both existing donors and to new donor prospects. You are doing everything right.

But are two mailings enough?

What will increasing the number of times you communicate do for your organization? And how can you do it without appearing that are over-demanding, self-serving or even ungrateful?

The answer is smart consistency when communicating with donors.

By sharing the progress of your organizations’ efforts you will be able to keep your donors ‘in the loop’ so to speak. You will be able to strengthen the relationship that you have and make the donor feel like their money is having a definite, real effect on your mission. Your donors should come to expect information by post of:

  • Your latest project or a quarterly update
  • An invitation to your next live event
  • Your annual report
  • Your newsletter
  • Thank you letters/cards

These examples are communications that are not designed to generate immediate cash flow rather than to continue to build on the foundation of the relationship that the donor has with you. You are sharing information. You are expressing your gratitude. You are helping your donors plan they’re giving more efficiently.

Remember, your donors do not want to be kept in the dark or excluded from events. Your donors want to know how their donation is helping. If they see they are making a difference, asking for a small increase from their last donation will be an easy proposition during your next appeal. Direct mail is the perfect solution.

At Russell House Marketing we have the experience and know-how to help you design an effective direct mail strategy that extends far beyond an appeal mailing. Talk to one of our DMA’s today about how to incorporate an effective Stewardship program into your overall mail strategy. You will be amazed by what they can show you, and further amazed at your long-term returns.

Contact one of our advisors for more information.