Our next Nonprofit 911 webinar guest, Darian Rodriguez, is a big proponent of leveraging your organization’s year-end momentum to boost individual giving. Promoting your cause on #GivingTuesday is a great start, but you can take this a step further by empowering donors to promote your work on their own all year long. Here’s my true story and three things I learned about donors recruiting donors:
The button that sparked a donation while waiting in line for coffee.
I was standing in line at Starbucks when the customer behind me asked me about a button on my bag that read, “I GAVE. Will You?” The button was intended to drive donations at a conference I attended, but I took this small piece of donor swag to the next level. After I told my fellow customer about the foundation my donation supported (college scholarships and domestic violence prevention), he handed me $20 to donate on his behalf.
Although these types of encounters don’t happen every day, you can prepare your donors to be effective messengers for your mission. Here are three ways your organization can help donors recruit donors:
1. Educate your donors.
Use thank you letters, newsletters, and email appeals as an opportunity to tell donors a little bit more about what your organization does. If donors can’t articulate what you do, how can you expect them to tell someone else about your work? Try segmenting newsletters for new donors vs. recurring donors. New donors are getting to know you and need more basic information about your work. However, a recurring donor might like to learn more about long-term projects and ways to volunteer.
2. Equip your donors.
Give donors a way to show off your nonprofit. Donors don’t necessarily need a button or a tote bag to accomplish this. A social media update or email message they can share with their social circles works, too. If you use a tool like Network for Good’s DonateNow, make sure that you turn on social sharing so that donors can share their love for your organization with a Facebook update or a tweet right after they make a donation.
3. Love your donors.
I get great thank you letters from the foundation I mentioned in my story. Their thank you letters make me feel connected to their mission, and they always show appreciation for my gift. How does the thank you process work for your organization? Ask your board members to call donors and thank them, or have beneficiaries write a handwritten thank you note. Form a positive connection with your donors, and they’ll want to show love back by making another gift or by recruiting more donors.
How are you empowering your donors to become messengers for your nonprofit? Share your ideas and plans in the comments below!