Philanthropic organization: building stronger major donor relationships
5 Donor Centric concept strategies
Donor Centric: A human-centered approach
What is Donor Centric, you ask? Well, it’s simply about helping your donor feel good, happier and more satisfied in his or her decision to donate. It’s about caring about your donor beyond his or her donation. How can he or she contribute to your cause by considering and valuing his or her experience, skills and ideas, thus developing deeper and more meaningful bonds of trust with your organization.
Here are 5 strategies based on this approach that will allow you, among other things, to generate interest, create ongoing exchanges, establish greater trust in your organization and strengthen the loyalty of your major donors.
1. Getting to know who your major donors are
It’s hard to solicit major donations when you don’t know who you’re dealing with! That’s because your major donors are more than just checkbooks – they are people with a purpose and a social mission. The first step to strengthening your relationship with them is to get to know who they are. Indeed, we’re talking about defining your philanthropic personas.
Note: Here is a free template to download that will help you strategically build your philanthropic personas.
In order to learn more about them, you got to exchange ideas, without being afraid to ask!
- What are their daily motivations, passions and challenges?
- Why do they want to get involved?
- Would they be willing or interested in participating in brainstorming sessions and/or workshops with other major donors?
- What are their issues?
- On what media platforms do they communicate or get informed?
- And more!
By having a typical profile of your philanthropic personas focused on your major donors, you will be able to better communicate your organization’s mission and capture their interest effectively because you will know the important points to develop.
2. Giving a reason to get involved and support your organization
The challenge of our time is to get the attention of potential major donors, the right way, at the right time, and encourage them to get involved in your social mission. A good way to achieve this goal is to develop a storytelling strategy.
By speaking to their hearts rather than their heads, you are more likely to create empathy for your cause.
It is therefore important to create positive emotions and clearly demonstrate a direct link between their generosity and the benefits for your beneficiaries. Storytelling is the best tool to structure communication campaigns or information meetings around your cause. Tell your story, showcase your human and social values, and don’t hesitate to be sensitive and authentic to make them support your cause.
However, be careful: women and men have different issues and the way to communicate with each of them differs. Women wish to belong to a group, make a difference and feel empowered when they help people, while men wish to position themselves as the solution, want to build lasting relationships through action and usually seek for respect.
3. Building your major donor experience
The Donor Centric concept revolves around the donor experience, i.e. the way you will inform, court, convince and convert your major donors into important ambassadors.
The best way to engage them emotionally and physically within your organization is to recognize their value beyond their donation as a person and as a resource. For example, you can invite them to take part in a brainstorming session with your team on different projects, set up optimization meetings, ask for their advice on important fundraising decisions, etc.
In addition, reach out to their network to make more connections. Know that the more involved they feel, the more their major donor experience will be amplified, so they should show more loyalty to your cause in the long run.
4. Developing and strengthening your relationship through events
Both face to face and virtual, cocktail parties and philanthropic networking are key events for creating an engaged community and taking stock of the year- your achievements as well as your failures – with your major donors. These annual galas are also an opportunity to interact with your benefactors face-to-face and take the pulse of their intervention and their feelings about it. It’s also a way to get valuable feedback from them to solicit potential supporters and refine your solicitation tactics.
5. Giving special attention and acknowledgments
Since they are important people to you and your organization, it’s fundemental to take a moment (once or twice a year) to thank your major donors. Send a personalized message or gift, post on social media, prioritize one-on-one conversations: your ambassadors are valuable and it’s important to emphasize the durability of your relationship and value their indispensable contribution.
These types of acknowledgements will have a direct impact on their loyalty rate.
A quick reminder: major donors who receive a thankful feedback within 48 hours of their donation are four times more likely to donate again. It will be important to have a strategy in place to make this happen.
To create a donor-centered culture, you, as a philanthropic manager, must pay special attention to your major donors all year round, not just during the fundraising season. By being attentive to their needs, involving them in the heart of your mission and expressing your gratitude, it’s a safe bet that they will become partners and even colleagues and friends in the distant future!
Would you like to refine your approach towards your major donors? Experts at Cible can help you right now to develop a personalized approach that you can quickly and easily adopt.
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