It’s the small and mid-sized donors who all too often don't get enough personal attention from you.
(The wisdom in this post can equally be applied to your larger donors also.)
But the question is - how can you properly dedicate the time to connect with small and mid-size donors alongside juggling so many responsibilities?
There is a way.
I call them AP’s. Or ‘Automated Personals’.
These are the interactions we take with mid or smaller donors that
- Feel Personal
- Are rolled out in a more Automated Way.
The best donor communications are personal ones. The challenge is the time it takes.
AP’s solve this problem, since once set up, they can be rolled out in a fraction of the time.
The main ways to roll out AP’s are using:
- Online Tools
Let’s look at each of them one by one.
1. Online Tools
These types of tools avoid the mass feel of Constant Contact or Mailchimp. They look personal. This adds much greater value to building donor relationships.
Once you’ve done this a few times, you can roll out emails to many donors with a personal touch - such as adding different personal greetings - something that assures the recipient that this email was directly intended for him.
The email will look and feel like it came from your inbox, because it did. And an added benefit is the email goes to the donor’s inbox and not their promotions box.
Another way of getting a very personal touch point to a donor is to outsource the work (or delegate within your organization).
This works best when sending personal notes and/or gifts with personal messages attached.
It’s especially useful if your handwriting is not so good! And mostly it saves a ton of time and gets a job done many would not do otherwise.
Batching means contacting a segment of donors - for a set amount of time - at different times of year.
This could be erev Chag or erev Shabbos or monthly. The key is to cover ground so many donors hear from you personally.
Deciding what you’ll do depends on
- the amount of people you need to reach out to and
- the amount of time you can put aside.
If you want to invest more time on fewer people, then make personal calls. For those who don’t pick up, leave a warm message/email or text as a follow up.
There’s one organization I work with, the executive director has his call list from which he calls 10 people every erev Shabbos without fail.
It is a part of what he does.
He makes time.
The calls get made.
Want to reach more people in less time?
Batch personal voice notes to your donors. Tell them they are part of a select group of people receiving the message.
Think of the warm glow an $360 donor will feel if the CEO sends him a WhatsApp voice note thanking him and sharing with him some of the successes that his $360 enabled
The key is to set aside time every week, month, or quarter to reach a specific segment of donors.
Each donor should receive a warm voice note as if they were the only person being called.
That’s how you utilize AP’s to build relationships with donors.
The hardest part to crack is setting up your system and/or blocking out the time, but once it’s set up, it speedily can be repeated. And the value to your organization will pay great dividends.
Which of these ideas could you move forward with this week?
Have a great fundraising week.