By Pallavi Sukhia
Philanthropy Manager, Triangle Land Conservancy
Effective communication is an essential tool for a fundraiser to connect with existing and potential donors to convey their organization’s message and impact. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your communication is impactful and delivers results:
- Understand your audience: Knowing your audience is the first step to effective communication. Some key factors to consider are – demographics, interests, and what motivates your donors to give and customize your message accordingly.
- Fundraising as a partnership: Address your donor as a partner who works with you to advance your mission. Highlight your achievements to include your donors. Example – “Together we were able to raise $50,000” or “With your support we have now added 10 new students to our cohort.”
- Get personal: Spend time learning about your donors. And use this knowledge to craft customized, personal communication. Does Jennifer prefer to go by Jenny? Does Richard like to get mail vs email? Show your donors you care.
- Clear messaging: Do not shy away from sharing your challenges with your donors. Be clear about your goal, your hurdles, and how you can work with your donors to find solutions. Example – “The cuts in government funding have stretched us thin with our resources and we have had to cut back on some of our hotline hours. With your support we are looking to raise an additional $XXX to hire two new hotline personnel.”
- Be authentic: Authentic content is always a winner. Share stories that are real and personal and anecdotes that reassert your commitment to your mission and are an inspiration to others to join you.
- Use multiple channels: We have some excellent tools available to us in today’s digital age. Use as many as possible, strategically, to reach a wider audience. Keep an eye on what works best. Do a majority of your constituents tend to take action on an email when sent on a Saturday morning? Or is Tuesday afternoon the sweet spot? Analyze your results to maximize your impact.
- Ease of action: Provide your donors multiple ways to make a gift. Make links and buttons visible, pages easy to navigate, and the process seamless.
- Continue the relationship and celebrate success: Your donors need to hear from you outside of appeals and asks. Thank them promptly and more than once. Send them regular updates and impact reports. Building relationships with donors is fundamental to fundraising success.