One key element to effective donor stewardship is consistency in messaging. Without a strong, consistent message being shared, donors are left confused about your organization and what they are supporting.
But in every organization, multiple people can be interacting with donors in various ways. How do you ensure consistent messaging? I don’t have the end-all be-all answer, but I do have some tips for how to develop and maintain consistent messaging across your organization, no matter how big or small.
Here are a few ways you can help you organization effectively communicate with donors on face-to-face or mass communication levels.
- Develop a consistent voice for your organization.
Chances are your organization has some sort of style guide. (If you don’t, you should develop one.) In that style guide, aside from how to use your logo and what fonts to use, it’s helpful to include details about the language your organization’s team members should use when talking about the organization, its programs and benefits to those you serve. This includes suggestions for verbiage/phrases to use, as well as examples of tones in which communication should be delivered, specifically in writing.
- Create an elevator pitch for you organization.
In that same area of the style guide, consider including an elevator pitch about your organization. Answer the questions: What does your organization do? Why is it important? Who do you serve? What are your current priorities? This is something that everyone in your organization should be able to speak to at any moment in time. The last thing you want is a prospective donor or even an existing donor being told whatever is on the top of someone’s head at the moment. With a pre-developed elevator pitch, everyone will be speaking the same about your organization, ensuring consistency no matter where the donor is receiving the message. Those same message points should be interwoven in written pieces including newsletter articles, email campaigns, appeals and cases for support.
- Share organizational goals and strategic plans with the entire organization.
Make it a point to share organizational goals and strategic plans in all-staff meetings. Make sure all staff members are aware of the funding priorities and needs of your organization. Whether someone’s job is fundraising/development or database management, he or she could interact with potential donors at any time. Equipping the organization as a whole with this information will help keep the message consistent about what the organization is current fundraising for and why it’s important.
Overall, the key to reaching donors once you’ve met them where they are is to keep it simple, clear and consistent. By developing a consistent voice and an elevator pitch and sharing fundraising priorities throughout the organization, your donors will feel more comfortable, like your organization has it’s stuff together. Keep your messaging consistent and your donors will keep coming back for more because they know what to expect.
This is a guest post contributed by Heather Dauphiny. You can read more of Heather’s non-profit insights over on her Tumblr – It’s A Nonprofit Thing.