The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Donor Love Part Two: Get Clued into Stronger Donor Relationships—Recommit to Your Privacy Policy

Donor Love


Got 2 minutes? Please tell us what you’re doing to strengthen donor relationships, and/or what’s in your way. Thanks!

Let me guess! You:

  • Can’t see how your organization’s privacy policy relates to donor loyalty.
  • Rely on your tech colleagues to handle everything related to your privacy policy.
  • Are done! You know your organization dealt with its privacy policy way back when as you launched your first website and bulk emails. What’s to talk about?

Get a clue!

Here’s why recommitting to your privacy policy is an important step to stronger donor relationships:

1. Donors are sharing more personal data than ever before. Your organization relies on insights drawn from that data, so you want to keep it coming.

Consider Colonel Mustard. The data your organization has on him has greatly expanded in breadth and depth since he first shared his name and email address seven years ago to subscribe to your e-tips on healthy eating.

By now, Colonel Mustard’s data spans multiple interactions across programs, campaigns, channels, and time. What was once anecdotally noted is now systematically tracked and easily accessed and analyzed—seven years of activity, from his initial $20 donation to your nonprofit’s anti-pesticide campaign, through unsubscribing to that tips email, volunteering to share your curriculum in with Rotary Clubs in the region, rowing and fundraising in your Top of the Charles crew fundraiser two weeks ago, and, just yesterday, sharing your “ask a friend to volunteer” email with two of his friends.

2. Colonel Mustard knows you’re harvesting his data.

You show him that you know in your customized year-end thank you email that hit on his volunteering and his involvement in the recent race. He loves that personal connection—it makes him feel like a real and valued part of your organization and impact.

3. He knows his profile—preferences, habits, and actions—is valuable to your organization.

He invests his data with your organization in exchange for a relevant, connected, and engaging experience—like that thank you email.

4. That’s the kind of useful and unified experience required to drive Colonel Mustard’s next action.

But you need his data to deliver it.

5. You have these key insights about the Colonel’s because he trusts you to protect his data.

This is where your privacy policy comes in. Fail—with an outdated, incomplete, or unsupported privacy policy—and he’ll break up with your organization fast, furious, and forever.

6. Keep the trust! Review, revise, and recommit to your privacy policy.

  • Does it cover how your organization captures, stores, and uses all donor, volunteer, and participant data? Most policies focus solely on contact information.
  • Do you convey to your donors what you’re doing, privacy policy-wise, emphasizing the value to them?
  • Are roles and responsibilities for privacy policy development, implementation, communications, and updating clearly outlined and assigned?

The trust you build in committing to a thorough, respectful privacy policy will enable your organization to source the data that sharpens your insights, strengthens your relationships, and motivates more of the actions you need.

How does your organization show your donors love? Please share what’s working, or what’s getting in your way, here.

Read Donor Love: Part One

With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.

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About This Blog

Linda Lombardi

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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