Keeping your donors happy is #1 on your priority list. That’s because you know that their happiness correlates with loyalty and tremendous philanthropic partnership. Happiness is all about those little gestures that brighten someone’s day. But sometimes when we go to apply this concept to donors and philanthropy, we get stuck.
By that meaning, we start to think inside the stewardship box. Boring!
Outside the Stewardship Box
When we’re inside the stewardship box, we think of acknowledgement letters, thank you phone calls and maybe an appreciation event. But stewardship can be so much more than that! It should be fun, uplifting and memorable for your donors.
Stories are great for donor stewardship and happiness because of their emotional quality. They have ability to make donors feel like they are the hero of the story and they were part of something important. But all too often, stories are not used in this capacity. Most often we see stories used in appeals. Hello, opportunity!
Today while everyone else is zigging today, it’s up to you to zag.
5 Ways to Make Your Donors’ Day With a Story
Send your donors a celebratory picture along with a packet of confetti. If your clients have reach a milestone that your donors made possible, let them be a part of the celebration, too! On the back of the picture, write them a little note to tell them about the celebration.
Have your clients write a thank you note. Sometimes the words are all the more impactful when they come directly from the person who was affected. Round up a few willing clients and ask them to write a short, hand written note to a donor to thank them. You can provide them with a script, but I would suggest letting them go ad-hoc.
Customize a video for your donor. Everyone’s got a camera on their phone these days. Go around your office and film people saying thank you to the donor. Be sure to use their name in the video so they know it’s been made especially for them. Cap it off with a story.
Capitalize on pseudo-holidays. There’s practically a day to celebrate every charitable cause under the sun. And even if there’s not one for yours, you can make one! On this pseudo-holiday, send your donors a special card that features a story about your organization’s vision for the future. Inspire them!
Give them a “sneak peak.” Everyone loves to feel like they are on the inside of a club. You can do this for your donors by giving them the inside scoop about happenings at your organization. Share a special story or two with them, and also let them know just how awesome they are