Free Nonprofit Webinar! How To Use Gratitude to Build and Strengthen Relationships with Donors


Every single donor moves through a cycle once a nonprofit organization identifies them as a potential supporter. 

That cycle is what’s known as the “donor cultivation cycle.” And it includes every step a donor takes. From the moment they’re identified by the nonprofit organization to when a nonprofit stewards their gift.

But there’s a key element of the donor cultivation cycle. That’s the “cultivation” part. We’re going to focus on donor cultivation so your nonprofit can build better relationships with your donors:


What is Donor Cultivation?

Donor cultivation is the building of genuine, authentic relationships among your supporters. Rather than treating them like a dollar sign, your organization works to know and understand them as an individual. 


Why is Donor Cultivation and Relationship Building Important for Nonprofits? 

Donor cultivation is an essential part of any nonprofit organization. Without donors, your nonprofit may not receive the necessary support or funding it needs to continue with your mission. 

But donors don’t want to be money signs in your eyes. They still want to be treated as a person. One who is directly involved with your cause. 

That’s where donor cultivation comes in. By building donor relations, especially around your nonprofit organization, you can speak to them about the things they care about, rather than focusing on how they’re giving to your cause. 

When you focus on donor relations, you’ll also notice you have an increase in trust among your supporters. You might find that you retain your donors even more, too! 


How to Cultivate Your Nonprofit Donors

How do you go about donor cultivation for your nonprofit? And what are ways you can build stronger, more authentic relationships with your supporters? 

Here are 6 donor cultivation strategies you can start using today: 


1. Regularly Communicate to Cultivate Donors 

There is no donor cultivation without communication. That’s not just for donors, either. That’s any relationship you want to build. 

But the relationship between your organization and your donor is no different. If you take months away from reaching out to them, and then suddenly send a fundraising email campaign, they likely won’t participate. That’s mainly because there hasn’t been any donor cultivation yet.

To make sure you are showing up in their lives more often than just asking for a gift, use some of the following donor cultivation strategies: 

  • Send thank you notes any time a donor sends in a gift, attends an event, or volunteers with your organization
  • Write personal emails to check in. 
  • Include them on your list for annual reports so they know what your organization has been doing. 
  • Stay consistent with your nonprofit monthly email newsletters and tailor the content to what they want to see (more on this in a moment). 


2. Give an Opportunity to Speak with Them One on One 

Responding to donors over online platforms like email and social media are great ways to cultivate your donors. But sometimes, you need a little face-to-face time. 

Provide an opportunity to speak to your donors one on one. This interaction shows them you truly care about them as an individual, rather than their pockets. 

Taking the time to speak with them in this capacity does wonders for establishing trust, too. They’ll be more likely to become recurring donors if you take this extra step. 

It’s not always feasible, though, to speak individually with donors in person. However, it is possible to do this at in-person nonprofit fundraising events. Whatever your event looks like, it’s a great idea to have nonprofit teams and staff members there to do “meet-and-greets” with your donors. 

If meeting with donors at in-person events isn’t possible, consider doing so at your next nonprofit virtual fundraising event. Some of the greatest nonprofit virtual event platforms allow for individual break-out sessions, too. 

3. Focus on Providing a Tailored Experience for Your Donors

One of the best ways to cultivate donors is to make their experience with your nonprofit organization as specific to them as possible. 

Not every supporter wants information on how to volunteer. Just like not every supporter can afford to give every month. 

You can tailor their experience based on what they want to see through your nonprofit email marketing channel. Segment your donors based on what they’re interested in. 

In doing so, your donors won’t have to feel as though they’re not able to contribute as much as someone else. Instead, they’ll be segmented appropriately, and you can tailor your language based on their past interactions with your nonprofit. 


4. Follow Through After Receiving Donor Feedback

Nothing cultivates donors like taking their feedback and suggestions to heart. After you’ve collected information through thank-you surveys, post contribution surveys, or volunteer surveys, actually read through it. 

You’ll be amazed at the information you might find in their feedback. And if you take it a step further and implement their suggestions, they’ll feel as if they’ve truly made an impact on your organization. 


5. Be Transparent in Your Projects

People who love and support your nonprofit organization want to know and understand how you work. They want to be a part of your mission and your efforts. 

So for donor cultivation, be transparent about your projects. Let them know the good you’re doing. Share with them where their dollar figures go and who or what it helps. 


6. Use Gratitude to Build and Strengthen Relationships with Donors

Finally, to make the biggest impact on your donor cultivation efforts, be sure to use genuine gratitude. Even the smallest touches go a long way for your donors. They want to know they’re not just another checkbook in your eyes. 

If you want more ideas on creative ways to cultivate your donors through gratitude, then we have a free nonprofit training for you! 

In just 30 minutes, you’ll learn how to understand your donors, how to increase donor retention through proper gratitude, how to use video to say thank you, and plenty more. 


Watch the FREE Nonprofit Training on How to Use Gratitude to Build and Strengthen Relationships with Donors

Donor Cultivation: How to Use Gratitude to Build and Strengthen Relationships with Donors - Video Transcript

Hi everyone, and welcome to today's webinar on How to Use Gratitude, To Build and Strengthen Relationships With Your Donors and Supporters. Thank you very much, Marcella, for the intro. My name is a frame Gopinath, and I'll be presenting this webinar. Thank you everyone for joining us today, and, of course, thank you to Charity, how to, for hosting me. Just a little bit about me.
I've been in the non-profit sector for two decades worn all the hats from CEO on down. I've made a career out of combining fundraising and marketing to help non-profits build more relationships, raise more money, service more people, and have more impact in the community.
I've had a chance to see how what we're going to talk about today building relationships and using gratitude to build those relationships, has helped create greater impact in the community, and that's what we're going to be learning about today.
So, before we get started, I just want to do a quick poll that I'm going to launch in one second.
Just one SEC, please.
Is it here?
Should be here.
There it is. Launch it, OK. Sorry about that.
Just curious, how quickly do you think donors after a donation comes in, and I'm not talking about an immediate e-mail, Let's say that comes in, you know, an online donation.
But I be interesting to see how quickly are you, is your organization thanking your donors? And we've got a whole bunch of votes coming in within 48 hours, That's good within a week, OK.
Just gonna wait a couple more seconds, let some more people Have a chance to vote in the poll OK, we'll close it out in another, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Thank you very much, everybody.
And I will, of course, share the results right now.
So we've got about a third of you doing it within 48 hours, half of you.
Within a week, and then about 20% doing it at a later date.
So what we're going to discuss today is using gratitude to help, to help you build relationships. And we're going to discuss immediacy and why it's very important to get those thank yous out as quickly as possible. So what are we going to cover today?
We're going to cover how to understand your donors who they are.
We're going to understand how to say a proper, thank you, and build relationships with them. Then we'll look at how to increase retention through proper gratitude.
How to thank new e-mail subscribers, which is something that you may not think of them as donors and supporters, but they are, and we will discuss that, How to use video to say thank you. That's one way you can say thank you besides a letter e-mail.
We're going to discuss how to use the phone to say thank you.
We're going to discuss how to make use of those elementary school cursive writing lessons. For those of you who remember doing cursive way back when in school. And we'll do a fourth example of showing gratitude outside of a letter or e-mail.
How to show gratitude on your website, cheer donors. And then I'm gonna give everybody who's here on the webinar, I'm gonna give you a challenge that you can perform at your organization when we're done.
So let's get started, and we'll discuss first, how to understand your donors.
So, let's talk the most basic thing. What does fundraising all about? And it's not about the money, and it's not about your bottom line or your organization. It's about two words: Building relationships.
You are building relationships with your donors and with your supporters, and that keeps them learning about what your, what's happening in their community, how they're impacting the community, how they're solving a problem.
And year over year, you retain them as donors, and they stick around, and obviously, lifetime value goes up.
So, this entire webinar is going to discuss those two words: building relationships.
If we're going to discuss building relationships, we need to understand, really, why did donors give, and I've outlined six reasons on this slide.
Number one, they want to be problem solvers. Donors want to solve a problem in their community. Let's take a case of homelessness. Homelessness exists in every state.
Every region, every city, every community, the average person, may not know how to help people who are homeless, They don't know what they need. So what do they do?
They're looking for your organization who has an expertise in that area, and through your organization, they're going to help the homeless people in their community. So donors want to be problem solvers. They may not know how to do it on their own, So they're gonna use, you're gonna. do it through your organization, hashtag two. People want to do good in the world.
They wanna do good. It's very simple, it's very basic, but that's why donors give.
Anyhow, it. Now mainly, not be the main reason, but it is a reason for their giving. It does give them that good feeling.
It makes the world a better place and we all want to leave the world better than how we found it. So that's another reason why they give.
People also want to connect to a larger community of do gooders. So you build this community of donors who are giving. They will want to be part of that.
They see people like them giving donations. They want to be part of that community as well. And finally, shared values. Your organization has certain values that are important to you. Your goal is to find donors who share those exact same values, connect with them that way. You build a relationship through those shared values, and that at the end of the day, will help donors decide to become a donor to your organization.
So now we've discussed why they give.
Let's discuss how to say a proper Thank you, and excuse me, and how to build relationships with your donors.
So I want to start here with a quote of what I call, Having a gratitude attitude. And this is from Bethann Locke, who is the Chief Spark, at the Fundraiser, cowshed dot com. And here's what she says. It's not the size of the gift that matters. It's the Act of Giving.
And that's a very important distinction to remember.
I'd like you all, after we're done, to go look at your thank you letters or e-mails. Does it open with Thank you for your donation of $100? Because, if it does, you need to change it immediately.
If it opens that way, then you're saying, thank you. Based on the gift on the generous of the donor. That's not what you want. You want your thank yous and your gratitude to be on the act of giving.
So, even if all they gave us $1, they are, it's their generosity that you want to stress, again, you're making them feel good because now they feel that they are a generous person, but it has, it's not the size of the gift, and that's very important to know when you're building a relationship with the donor, because, again, a $10 donor one day, could turn into $10000.
If your attitude is, well, they only gave $10, so, then, you're not going to retain them. You're not gonna build a relationship with them. So, always make sure that your gratitude comes down to generosity, the act of giving itself.
Let's talk now how to build how to build a relationship through a proper thank you. What has to go into a thank you?
First of all, personalization is critical. This is a 1 to 1 conversation.
If they gave online, if they gave a check, or they filled in a reply slip in your direct mail appeal, you have their first name adress them by their first name.
Dear Frank, thank you Frank.
And this way, it's personalized and they feel that you see them, that they, you know who they are as a donor. Number two, timely. And that's why I asked the poll before. I wanted to see where.
How quickly people give, and I just want to share with you a quick stat from Mcconkey Johnston International, thanking your donors quickly makes Donors' four times more likely to give again.
four times more likely, and we're gonna get into that in a second. Why that number is so important. So you want your, thank you to always be timely as quickly as possible. In your thank yous, Very important, more, you, less us. You want to stress the donor and what they're doing to solve a problem. The community, it's less us, the organization and what we're doing.
At the end of the day, it's the donor who's solving that problem.
You have the expertise, and the knowledge, and the experience to make it happen, and the donor doesn't, but at the end of the day, it's that donor who's making who's solving that problem in the community.
Your thank You has to stress that, and you want to, You want a good thank you, that's going to stand out. And it's going to be memorable to them. And I will get to that in a second as to why that's very important.
Additionally, you can have a little fun with your thank you. And I'm going to show, I'm going to show you an example, or two of that A bit later. Yes, you should keep it serious, but you can have a little bit of fun, especially via e-mail.
Storytelling, in a good thank you, you want to tell a story. And what kind of a story do you want to tell?
What I call the story of one, you want to tell about one service recipient who has been the recipient of the donors, kindness. So the donor gave for Program X Here's the person in that program.
Who, because of this donation now has a backpack to be able to go to school? Now has food, now has closed now, shelter, whatever it is that your organization does.
So storytelling plays a central role in a good. Thank you. Within that, thank you. You also want to demonstrate impact. As I just said, you want to say, how is the donation used?
Well, if you ask them for $100 for X, tell them this is how your donation was used, so they know that you, as an organization, have taken them seriously, And you're using it, what they, that you're using it based on what they want it.
How did the donor solve a problem?
Let them know that they've accomplished something. They gave money.
Here's the impact, here's what happened on the ground.
And the last thing.
And I go back to another Statement of Bethann Locke, removes space between the donor and the recipient. And I go back to the storytelling story of one.
Connect the donor to the service recipient to one specific person that they are helping no space between them, so that the donor can see, I did, I gave X, I was able to help person Y, And by getting rid of that space between the two, you build a relationship with that donor who now sees the good that they are doing in the world.
How, now that we've seen that, How do we increase retention through proper gratitude?
And I want to start with this statement from doctor Adrian Sargeant who has done a ton of research into this specific topic of gratitude.
And this is the most important slide, in this entire presentation, because it is going to dictate the way you do gratitude at your organization. And I quote the thank you, is the single most important piece of communication your donors get. They have a higher recall of it than the appeal that generated the gift, Were in August right now.
You may be working on your year end appeal. I hope you're working on it, and you're going to send it out, and I know you're putting in hours and hours and hours of work, and plenty of people are editing and fixing it. You're working with the printer and a graphic designer. I get it.
At the end of the day, after you've sent out that appeal, any donor who responded to that appeal, they will remember the thank you that they got more than they're going to remember, the actual appeal you worked on.
And if they have a higher recall, meaning if the gift, that, sorry, if the thank you was memorable to them, there's a better chance of them sticking around.
Your retention goes up, and higher lifetime value. It's a great way to build the relationship.
When you don't tell them, and the thank you letter, how they helped, or the thank you, that you've sent, isn't memorable.
They may feel that you don't appreciate their donation, and that's going to hurt your retention.
Why say Thank you? And I'm gonna give you two numbers.
Number one, are these two right here, The yuk, 45%, that's the average sector donor retention rate.
So from 20 20, I know a lot of organizations, and I'm hoping a lot of you out there, got new plenty of new donors.
If you've got 100 new donors, only 45 of them are sticking around, you lost 55 and now you're chasing your tail, to go find new ones, too, bring in, you know, to recoup those losses from 20 20 from all that money you got in. The second number is even worse.
First, time donors. The average retention rate is only 18 to 20%.
That's horrible.
That means you're getting a new donor, and then they're not sticking around 80% of the time.
one of the ways to get them to stick around is proper thank you. Proper gratitude, building relationships. When you do that, you will have higher retention rates, and you will have a higher lifetime value. And one of the ways to do that is your first time donors or an ongoing donor. Always remember that your that their donation is not an end. It's only the beginning of continue.
It's either building the relationship because their first time donor or strengthening the relationship with your current donors, but every donation should be seen as a beginning, not an end, and that will help guide you into showing proper gratitude to your donors.
So, again, the donor retention rates right now in the sector are not great at all.
Proper gratitude can prop up those numbers big time. And now, think about what that means for you, for you, bringing in revenue and then, taking that and servicing more people, having more programs and creating more impact in the community.
So, one group of people, you may not have thought that you should be thinking profusely, our new e-mail subscribers. I come to your website, and I sign up for your E newsletter. Now.
some of you may have an inbox that is what I'll call a nuclear disaster zone, right? Thousands of e-mails, and maybe the last thing you want us to sign up for another e-mail, you don't. You can't take another e-mail into your inbox.
Think about people who are signing up for your newsletter. They're exactly the same as you.
They may have inbox zero, They may have 50 e-mails in their inbox, whatever it is. The fact that they signed up is not a given.
So once they sign up, you want to show them proper gratitude and what's your end game here.
Eventually you're going to convert subscribers into donors. So let's take a quick look how you can thank your new e-mail subscribers. Show them proper gratitude.
You should be thinking them immediately on your website.
So after I click Subscribe, I should either get a popup message or let's say you take them to a landing page. And if you can, use a great image in that, thank you on your site, this image that you can see here is from the San Francisco Ballet. It's a great back backstage scene. It's just a great picture. A great image, it captures my attention.
These are two pop-ups that I got when I signed up.
I'm the one on the left is from Teach For America, And I happen to love the image. On the right is a big, huge thanks showing proper gratitude. And it's from the Environmental Defense Fund. You can see in the right, in the upper right. The White Polar Bear, it's a great image. So that's, if you think on state, these are just pop up messages, but it immediately says to the new subscriber. Thank you.
Thank you for subscribing.
The next thing you want to do, though, is send a welcome e-mail. Don't give up on that, you absolutely should. It is the first thing in building a relationship with that subscriber I subscribed e-mail in my inbox and it starts building the relationship from e-mail number one. Why should you send e-mails?
Well, I'm gonna give you the data from Inbox army, welcome e-mails generate four times the open rate, and five times the click through rate of a standard e-mail marketing campaign.
More people are going to open that e-mail. More people are going to click, so if in that e-mail you offer them a video to watch or maybe download an e-book or do something else.
You're going to have higher click through rates on that. And that builds the relationship with the new subscribers. Now, I learn a little bit about the organization.
Let's quickly talk about what that good, what that welcome e-mail should include.
It should come immediately to the inbox right away. Number two, it should be mobile friendly.
Think about how you read e-mails on your phone. The average person looks at an e-mail on their phone for about five to NaN. If the e-mail isn't optimized for mobile mobile, meaning it doesn't look good on the mobile screen, 80% of people will delete it and 30% are gonna unsubscribe, you, just got them to subscribe.
If the e-mail doesn't look good on their phone, one third of them are going to unsubscribe right away. Not what you want.
That welcome e-mail should also tell you a little bit about the organization. This is from no panic in the UK. There's a great image here.
And here, they just have their mission statement, and what they do, at the top of their e-mail. So they start building that relationship and letting you know the story and what that organization does.
You want the tone to be warm and friendly. and you want to make sure you set expectations.
You can see here, from the Franklin D Roosevelt, for Freedom Spark, expect monthly newsletters, you let them know how often you're going to be connecting with them via e-mail.
Provide some kind of benefit for subscribing, as I mentioned earlier. Maybe an e-book to download or a video to watch. Make sure you have your social media icons.
At the bottom of all your e-mails, that is a great way to build relationships, because, again, you're not just building relationships via an e-mail or via a letter, direct mail appeal. You can build relationships off of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube.
So make sure those icons are there. And obviously, if you've asked your new subscribers for their first name, personalize that e-mail.
Again, it's building right from the start, that 1 to 1 connection, that 1 to 1 relationship, and I will stress this, and, please, if you do this, don't do it again.
Don't ask for a donation in your e-mail, subscribe, e-mail, welcome, e-mail. You're starting your new subscriber, welcome e-mails.
As Julie Cooper, who is a fund raising and copywriting expert, says, You wouldn't ask somebody for their hand in marriage on the first date. Don't ask for a donation. In the first e-mail, Save the Children does that right here on their ....
It's not great, so avoid it.
I'm going to stop, because I have four methods that I want you to try, that I want to introduce you to about, to say thank you to your donors. And so, what I'm going to do is, I'm just gonna run a quick poll here, and I appreciate if you could answer me in the chat.
Do you say thank you to your donors only via Letters and e-mail? Or do you use a different method, as well?
And if you could just put in the questions chat, if you could just put in.
If you're using other other methods besides a letter or an e-mail, I'd love to see what you're doing.
I see phone calls. That's good.
Video, good. Phone calls. Saw that from Yolanda.
Tracy, I see you're doing phone calls to new donors, that's great.
Stefani good about experimenting with with video.
Just one second. Looking for more.
I'm seeing I see social media posts. Thank you, meira.
I see text. That's good, Michael.
So I see that a lot of you are using different methods, that's good.
Besides, besides e-mail and letters, I'm going to give you four different ways for you to use for you to show gratitude to your donors. Ways. You might be, doing, might not be doing, but I'm going to give you a whole bunch of ideas now. You can try with your organization.
Just say, Gratitudes, so let's talk about yep, that's the first one. Everybody's got a cell phone simple to just, you do not need, but you really don't need to. What you do want to do, though, is you want to personalize the video. Hey, Matt.
Hey, Laura, Thank you for your donation. So that, again, you're seeing that donor, and you're giving them a shout out by name. You have their name. Use it, and I go back to what we started with about storytelling.
I'll tell the story of one.
Let tell them in this video who they've helped, what they've done with their donation. Now on the right here I actually took an example of a Steven Spielberg production. I don't know, some of you may remember this.
This is from about a decade ago, Bowling Green University built a new basketball stadium with donations that had a big capital campaign, and they created a great video. It's actually called a Stroke Center rap, which, some students at Bowling Green created to say thank you to your, through their donors. It was great. And, again, like I said, it was spielberg esque type production.
You don't need, you can just use your phone.
Here are some other ideas you can do with video.
Have a message from the CEO or the staff member, whoever's the connection to that donor.
Let them get in front of the camera and say thank you, If you can. This is a great one. Have a service recipient. Say thank you, I go back to. Don't have any space remove space between the donor and the service recipients.
Get a service recipient to say thank you, to the donor can actually see who their help and that builds the relationship between them, the organization, and the people in their community. And here's a fun idea that I saw via e-mail, one organization.
First, this is specifically for first time donors. They send an e-mail to the donor saying thank you and they add a gif in the e-mail of the CEO doing they're happy dance. Now, again, that may seem a little silly, but you know what? It puts a smile on the donor's face to see the CEO is so happy that their first time donor, it's a great idea.
You can do it, if you, if you want to just use it, if you want to do a staff message. I've seen thank you, where the staff just gets together room, everybody's wearing party hats.
They throw some confetti in the air, and they say thank you, Myra, for being a donor, and you know, that's a great way also to just say, thank you, a simple video, to say thank you. Now on the right here, you'll see that I've taken a screenshot of part of an e-mail that a friend of mine got. His name's Robert. He's an alumnus of alum, Illinois State University. Illinois State University had a giving day for alumnus. And what they did is he gave and then he got this in his e-mail and it was called the birds get back campaign. And they asked them to click and watch his video. This was sent by e-mail, and he did. And I'm going to tell you, very quickly, what the e-mail was. At the beginning of the video, was a current student at Illinois State saying, hi, Robert, thank you so much for answering our call, for, Alumnus, Giving Day, for Alumni Giving Day.
Then it went into a video that they had produced, which was the same for every single donor.
About a minute and a half long. It was a great video. And then a different students saying, Robert, we're so glad. Thank you for all you do for us, for me, for the students, Because part of the money they raised was for scholarships. So, again, it's personalized to Robert. It's a great video, and they put no date, removed the space between the donor Robert, and the service recipients, those students who were speaking in the video. So video is an excellent way to connect with, your donors, build relationships with them, So let's talk about using the phone.
It's, we may have forgotten that we can actually use it to thank our donors, but it's a great way to do it. So, I'm gonna, I apologize for the way, I it was a tweet, and I had to divide it into three. I'll get to that in a second, but I want to start on the left here.
I'm going to start with the 90 day rule, and this comes from Bloomerang.
Calling a first time donor, once or more, within 90 days of their first time donation, increases retention rate by up to 58%, and nearly doubles the amount of the second gift.
Who doesn't want that?
Pick up the phone call your first time donors, I call it up here. Dial a smile, simply call them and say thank you, you're awesome.
You'll retain more donors. You're gonna get a higher second gift, you have their names personalize, that phone call, say hi Adam, thanks for donating.
It's 1 to 1. communication, again, you're building the relationship. It's a connection.
You're, It's a relationship, and yeah, you can do it by a phone call, No reason not to.
Then while you're doing it, here's a little idea for you. Ask the donor had to find out about it as the donor. Why did you gift to us?
Find out what I call their origin story. Because if you get a great story from them about how they found that, are about why they like your organization, ask them if you can quote them.
Because then, you can use that in all your fundraising and marketing materials on your website, social media, printed materials, annual reports, you name it, picture of the donor, and their quote. They'll love it, and other people will see, Hey! That that person is giving, I want to give, as well. Finally, get a board member to call I know your board members are very busy, get them on the phone, calling donors. This is from Penelope Burke, a thank you call from a board member within 24 hours of a donation, increases the likelihood of a second gift being 39% larger.
Again, it's real simple. Call a donor within 24 hours of their donation.
You just, up their second, their next gift by 40%.
You can do the math, and how much that would, obviously, help the people in your community and your programming in your services. The last thing I want to say is about calling donors, and this comes from research done by Roger Craver. Calling donors generates a 56% increase in first year retention. Remember, that retention rate is really, really low, and it has a 72% increase in revenue. All the data says, calling your donors is going to help retention. It's going to help lifetime value. It's going to help you build relationships. So now, I want to show you this example, Adam Clevenger, as a fundraising consultant. And on giving tuesday, he helps. He helps an organization called Second Helpings, and instead of giving tuesday they do.
gratitude Tuesday, OK, and what they're doing with Gratitude Tuesday is they are with Gratitude Tuesday.
They are calling donors all day, and you can see the picture here on the right, They're busy calling donors, and they're talking to their donors and thanking them for donations, not asking for donations. Now, here's what happens, though. This is the interesting thing.
On the left side, they have a white board in the room there, and they are gathering the data as they make phone calls. So here on that day, donors thank today, 286 volunteers recruited is two. And Gifts today is $18,500. They weren't asking for gifts, but by calling the donor to say thank you, they gotta gift.
So I would say, that's a job well done in terms of what they were trying to do with Giving tuesday.
Pick up the phone, call people, they will be happy that you called, and they might even give.
So that's using, how about, let's use those making use of those elementary school cursive writing lessons. And I wanted to talk about pen neat paper.
And here I want to talk about Thank you notes hand-written, Keep in mind all day, all we do is type on our phones and on our laptops and our iPads, All we do is type give them something different, Something that's memorable. Remember, if they remember the thank you, you have a better chance at a higher gift. And another gift.
Number one, thank you! Notes are in there. It's something tangible. They have it in their hands. Number two, it's meaningful, it's warm. It gives them those fuzzy feelings again. Remember? They don't just want to solve problems. They want to feel good. So, thank you note, would make them feel good, you, personalize it by saying, Dear, the name of the donor, and you have it signed signature by the CEO or staff person. That builds the relationship.
Also, it's another form of 1 to 1 communication with the donor and it's not the norm.
Keep in mind, they don't always get thank you notes or postcards from the from other organizations. So I go back to that quote from doctor Adrian Sargeant, Make your gratitude, and your thank you is memorable. Hand-written thank you note, will absolutely stick out in the mind of a donor, and that will help you the next time. You want to make an ask. So, highly advise, it's a great way to say thank you to donors. And finally, the fourth one I want to share with you is on your website, This is extremely important.
You drive traffic to your website.
You want people to donate online, which is great.
You gotta thank them online right there. So I'm going to share with you three images that I got from Jonathan ..., who is a fundraising consultant at Flat Earth Direct in Australia.
And here's I'm going to show you three different online landing pages or pop-ups that he shared with me. So you want to say a heartfelt thank you. Say you're amazing. You're awesome.
Those thank you's on your website are another chance to tell a story.
Tell of the tell people the Impact excuse me that they made with their donation. Use a photo. Capture their attention. And you can include your social media icons or e-mail sign-up.
in that, thank you and allow people to click or to, know, sign up for e-mail, or to join you on social media. Again, it just builds the relationship. So the image you're seeing right here on the screen, that's from Guide Dogs Queensland. They actually give you a choice of three stories. Now obviously I'd prefer there was one story that's tied directly to whatever program I donated to online, but either way, these are great pictures. It connects with me, and I want to find out more about the impact that my donation is happening.
This, thank you is from Foodbank NSW and a CT.
And I want to point out a couple of things. one is branded in their color. The top image is great.
Number two, notice the verbiage. Thank you for your generosity. I remind you that you say thank you based on their generosity, Not their generous. this has Bethann Locked.
You know, we discussed at the beginning, it's the act of giving that's important. And then they personalize it. You can see right here. It starts with Ash. That was the person who gave the donation. Thank you for giving hope. They talk a little bit about, they say thank you to the donors, but they also reinforced the need of what that food bank is doing. Now, what's, if you look right here to the right of the thank you for your generosity at this picture, the picture says, Everything you need to know, I can associate food Bank and I already understand what they do, who they are. It captures my attention. And now I'm going to want to read the verbiage here.
I'll share with you one more.
and this is a video online. So, what this, what our SPCA Victoria did is they recorded a less than a minute video. It's got some light music in the background. It's genuine and warm. It's quick to watch for donors. You'll notice that above the video.
Thank you. Ash. Again, they have personalized though they've added the name of the donor. The video is the same for everybody, but it gives you an idea of what you've just done with your donation. It is a great way to say thank you to donors, so those are just three examples of what you can do online.
And finally, I'm going to end with a challenge to off all of you.
I want you to go out and test, so here's what I want you to take the gratitude test and see if your organization passes.
I want you to go online and give a small donation to your organization. Use your name. Don't use your name, your choice. Give five bucks to your organization online. And then I want you to see what happens.
Do you get a really nice thank you popup or landing page?
Or is it just a one liner that says thanks for your donation which really isn't very heartfelt and warm for your donors?
See, if you get an e-mail, how quickly does that e-mail come into your inbox and is that e-mail just perfunctory? We received your donation of $25. Thank you.
Or does it have that warmth that love that fuzziness does tell a story? Does it show impact for you as a donor? Test further gratitude, I don't know if you, also, maybe you send the letter, How quickly does that letter show up at your house.
After you've given your donation, The test you're going to do. This is what your donors experience. And this is how they're going to remember. You are not.
I repeat again what doctor Adrian Sargeant said, If the thank you is memorable, they will give, again, they will stay with you longer, if you have helped to build that relationship. I'd like all of you to take that test.
I know we went a little bit overtime. I apologize, but I'm still here. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have on this topic of gratitude, fundraising, marketing it. If you want, and we don't have time, I won't I won't be able to get to all the questions, if you'd like, you can e-mail me at a frame EP, H R a, I am at 18 32 comes dot com e-mail. Me, and I'll be happy to answer your question. And one final thing before we get to the questions.
You're going to be getting a survey about this webinar, and I'd really appreciate if you could just take a minute to complete it. It's easy, It's super helpful for charity, how to, and for me, I love getting feedback. I want to know what you thought about the webinar, so if you could fill in that survey, that will be great.
I'm going to be looking at, I'm going to just look here. If anybody has any questions, I would be more than happy to take them.
I'm opening up the questions now. If you have a question, just put it in the questions, chat there, and I will.
I'll be happy to answer.
So I can see a couple coming in. Do you want me to read them to do?
Yeah, yeah, because Hold on one second. So where are they in the chatter? in the questions box.
Right, So I, for some reason don't see them. Yeah. If you could read them to me, I would be more than happy to. Wonderful. So let's start with.
Melissa says, Would you call new donors if day first if their first gift was to an event, like a walk?
Yes. Because, again, the data, the data shows. Thank you for the question.
The data shows that a phone call helps, and, again, the whole point is to build relationships If they've joined. If they took the time to join an event, such as a walk, let's say, and they've done that, they've walked five kilometers for your organization. Don't just send an e-mail, reach out with a phone call. Send the video, whatever it is. Build that relationship, absolutely.
Great. Janine asks, our non-profit develops video resources.
We have no way to know when, I'm sorry, of knowing who sees them, or what stories are now what?
First of all, if are you hygiene in? Thanks for the question.
If you, are you moving people towards, let's say, e-mail, toward signing up for your e-mail, are you moving people to follow you on social media? That's one of the ways to know, is you get calls to action.
Let's say, in your videos or whatever you're putting out, to people who are watching, Get them to take an action. All your marketing materials, all your fundraising materials, should have a call to action.
So, if you're asking them to do something, say sign up for our newsletter. Now you have their name. Now, you know, from that link, they clicked it.
They got to your newsletter. So now you know who the person is, so you can then start making that connection. And, eventually, when they become a donor, you've got their name, and you can thank them.
I hope that answers the question.
Great, so Ann asks: We are a performing arts venue. What kind of storytelling would you suggest we do?
Hi, Anne.
Performing arts.
So, the storytelling is who's benefiting. Who benefits now?
I, if you know, I'll take the easiest example, you know, if you're, if you're a theater, everybody in the community, benefits, but you've got staff.
You've got stories about staff and how they came into the field of performing arts. There are plenty of stories just there alone. Let alone.
If you're doing performing arts, if you have people who are performing, get their stories as well, You also want to get the stories of people who may be, let's say, season ticket holders.
Find out what?
What do they love so much about the arts, What does it love so much about your theater, or your organization, or your performance is. Get that out of them. Share those stories, because it will resonate with other people, and somebody who may come to shows every now and then.
They'll see, oh, that person is a season ticket holder and I hear their reasoning. I may want to up up now, and move from going to two shows to a season ticket holders. So use those stories of the people who are performing, but also the audience who's watching.
I hope that was helpful.
Great to three more questions, and then it's time to wrap it up. Stephanie asks, Are there specific demographics that appreciate Kohl's and others that do not?
So Stephanie, I'm going to tell you, this is all about building relationships. And one of the things that I highly advise is learn more about your donors and find out what method of communication they prefer.
There are plenty of donors who only wanted to talk to you via text.
So text them. Some will say phone. Some will say Zoom. Some will say e-mail. Some will say, Only, mail me once a year to my house. But it's one of the things that I think non-profits don't do often enough.
Ask your donors and your supporters. How would you like me? How would you like us as an organization to connect with you, and, then, you'll know what's the best way. I understand that sometimes generational breakdowns could happen, such as Millennials and Gen Z prefer text. I'm, you know, Gen X, I would prefer e-mail, it happens to be not a phone call. And maybe older donors, boomers, would prefer a phone call. But the only way for you to know that is to actually ask them you can do a survey. You, after they give a donation, you can send them an e-mail, and ask them straight out, or even on a phone call, ask them.
Do you prefer we not call you again, and that we send a text or e-mail, find out from the donors.
And then you have that you've built that relationship even better, because now they know you're going to feel you're going to do what they've asked, and now they feel more comfortable with your organization, and, you know, the relationship they're going to build with you.
Great. Danielle asks, what's the best mechanism for sending videos texting to their phone number, or if de lys, I'm sorry, texts into their phone number, if de listed?
OK, so thanks, Daniel. First of all, I wouldn't text unless you have. They may list their phone number, but that does. I wouldn't necessarily send them a text, or I would first send them a text and say, we'd like to send you a video. Would you prefer via text or via e-mail? That's the first thing. Text is very personal. Now the great thing about text is 90 to 95% of people open up a text message within three minutes of getting it.
So text is the number 1, 1 to 1 communication that's out there. Nothing beats it, but it's also very personal And not everybody wants to give out their phone number, or even if they do, they don't want to get a text.
So you should find out from the donor, would you like us to send you something via text or via e-mail in terms of sending it, e-mail works.
For sure there are. You can send that as what I would suggest if you're going to do a video, is I would send an e-mail with a thumbnail.
Let them click, go to your website. Again, you drive traffic to your website more eyeballs on your website. Build the relationship, because once they're there and they see that great video, thank you that you've given them, they might say, oh, you know what? I wanna learn about this program, because I'm already on the website.
And now you strengthen the connection with them.
So I send it in an e-mail, but again, if the donors' willing via text, yes, send it via text. And make sure, again, the link in the text should go to your website.
OK, and then, last question is from Angela. I don't have a newsletter. How long or short can or should it be? I would like to start one right, Right, right away.
Oh, Angela, this is this Is it right in my wheelhouse? Yes, number-one started. Number two, how short or long? My suggestion is, always on the short side.
But I'd like you Angela, to spend the next day or two every time you go to your inbox, check and see if you are looking at your e-mails on your laptop or on your phone and then see how much time you spend scrolling through e-mails.
That'll tell you, that's like, you're, you know, that's obviously a survey of one, I understand. But think about, you're the average user.
People do not like to scroll infinitely, especially if they're on their phones.
So I tell people, if you have a newsletter, you have 20 different things going on, send more frequent newsletter's, don't pile everything into one newsletter. I'm not gonna infinite scroll.
It's just not going to happen, and what ends up happening is, when I see it's too long, I might see the first story I make to the second.
Then, I'm going to bounce, because, Oh, my goodness, it's going to take me 10 minutes. As I mentioned in the presentation, the average person looks at their e-mails for five to NaN.
Consider how much you can, how much information a person can learn from your newsletter in five to NaN. So I'm always on.
Shorter is better, because you'll have a greater chance of capturing somebody's attention with one good photo. one good headline, one good call to action.
Boom, they click. They go to your website. They sign up for something. They volunteer, They donate, they download, they subscribed, whatever you ask them to do, but shorter is better. That doesn't mean you can't use long e-mails when it's necessary. But I think that, especially, if you're starting out, you don't want to pile too much on new subscribers, because they'll end up just, they won't open it, or they'll just opt out.
I hope that helps, Angela.
Wonderful! So, then, it's time to wrap it up. Thanks, everyone, for joining us today! Please do complete the survey! that frame was talking about earlier, because, your comments always help us improve our contents, And, this is the first time ever that we have done this Webinar to your comments. will be very, very helpful to us.
And, I guess I said, please, stay safe and healthy, everyone, And we hope to see you again on another charity, how to webinar. Thanks a frame. Talk to you later. Bye.