Categories: Industry Insights

3 Ways to Engage Donors

Published On: Aug 16, 2013

Did you know that engaged members are 3x more likely to give?

According to a study by NTEN and Charity Dynamics, nearly half of donors give a majority of their annual total donation to the charity to which they feel most connected. While these supporters may donate to multiple charities, they are likely to become engaged with a single organization.

How can you best engage your members, donors, and community to keep your cause top-of-mind? Some tips to increase engagement and increase giving:

  1. Think like a donor. According to Harvey McKinnon’s book, The 11 Questions Every Donor Asks and the Answers All Donors Crave, thinking like a donor is key to understanding roadblocks to engagement and giving. Donors wonder, “Why me?” Donors want and need to know that they are important for reasons other than their checkbook. Interacting with them outside of solicitations is important. For more ways to think like a donor see our Industry Blog Post on the subject.
  2. Ensure their first engagement happens quickly, preferably within 24 hours. Daxko membership and engagement consultant, Lori Swann believes that engaging members and donors quickly should be the first priority at every non-profit. In addition, Daxko fundraising expert, Sarah Kleban states, “Taking the time to thank each donor with a personal call is a special way to recognize donors and make them feel like they are valued.” The same theory applies to members. Member-based non-profits should reach out to new members quickly, even if it’s just to thank them for becoming a member and ask them if they have any initial questions. It’s a great way to set the stage for a long-term relationship.
  3. Tell stories. Success stories not only provide living proof of donations in action, but they also inspire members and donors with stories of real people. Share these stories on your website, through social media or even through local news outlets. A great example of nonprofit storytelling is provided by, Michelle Amaral, PhD, who spearheaded a campaign to reunite pets lost in the devastating Alabama tornadoes in April 2011. Through a simple Facebook page, countless animals were returned to their owners and the page garnered more than 35,000 “likes” on Facebook through stories of animals being reunited with their owners.
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