It takes many kinds of donors to support your work and further your mission. Most nonprofits strive to identify and keep major donors, while while still building a large community of individuals who support your nonprofit with varying levels of donations.
No donation is more important or less valuable than another. And no matter the size of the contribution, to retain that donor just one thing counts: Engagement.
Virtually Engaging Donors, Large and Small: Work To Retain Your Donors
Why is this important? Because when donors are happy, they will renew and upgrade their support. They will also refer supporters to your cause. Engage with your supporters and they will engage with you. On the DonorPerfect blog, last week, their experts spoke about how our relationships with donors, during the pandemic, have changed dramatically and discussed some new ways to draw donors in and make them feel connected. Consider adding some or all of those methods to your existing stewardship plan to thank donors for helping to fulfill your mission.
Also consider establishing a 100% secure, virtual engagement hub or platform for donors to better communicate, collaborate and connect with your organization Then, instead of you chasing donors with emails and reports (which largely go unread, unfortunately), they have ONE PLACE to go, whenever it is convenient, to access the most recent and important information on your mission success. As you engage with your donors, be honest about obstacles to success. Is your nonprofit struggling to meet the demand for your services in the community? Do you have an impossibly long waiting list? Is there a crisis in your community that you could address if you had the financial support? Your supporters already appreciate your work and want to help. So be real with them about your needs. They will appreciate your transparency.
The idea is to engage both the "head and the heart" of your donors. Tell them about your challenges and your successes. Get personal and help them to understand that their dollars make an enormous difference to individuals and to mission success.
Broadening Your Reach
Broadening your reach does not mean straying from your reasons for existing, regardless of the temptation to go after dollars that might require you to move even slightly away from your core mission. That is one of the worst things that you can do and it will ultimately negatively impact your fundraising.
Broadening your reach means utilizing the supporters you have to be ambassadors in finding new donors, in new sectors. This supporter group can include staff, volunteers, current donors and, of course, board members. And, depending upon your mission, there are times when it is appropriate to ask your consumers to help spread the word about your good work.