The content of your messages isn’t the only way to tailor your communications to each donor. You can also customize the way you communicate and the methods you use. The more you tailor your communication, the more you supporters will welcome your messages.
Honing Your Style and Tone
The style of your communications will remain constant, since it reflects the personality of your organization’s brand. A conversational style lets supporters know that your nonprofit is approachable.
The tone of your communications will change, however, based on the nature of the contact. Some communications require a more serious and formal tone by nature (annual reports), while others are more lighthearted (project updates). The style will always be recognizable as yours, but the tone of voice will vary.
Modes of Communication
One of the most effective ways to increase donor engagement is to customize your methods of communication. Tailoring modes to your donors’ preferences and type (first-time, regular, monthly, or major donors) will mean they’re more likely to read and respond.
Mailed communications can be a tangible keepsake. Donors who like to get snail mail will especially appreciate being able to keep letters you’ve sent them. These communications will serve as a reminder of your organization and the work you’re accomplishing together.
Email allows you to contact donors quickly, and it’s the perfect format for including images of your team, projects, and community members. Most donors appreciate regular emails that update them on the progress of projects and programs they care about.
Social media is the fastest-growing phenomenon of the modern age, and many donors expect to see their favorite organizations being active on social channels. Find out which platforms are most popular with your donors and post regularly, so you can be where they are.
Phone calls are special since not many people place calls these days. A phone call demonstrates a commitment to a conversation. You’re investing time to talk. Hearing directly from you, a board member, or one of your team members lets your donors know how much you truly value them and their contributions.
In-person visits like office drop-ins or lunch invitations are a meaningful way to thank major donors, and they’re a powerful way to build relationships. Nothing says “You are a part of the team” quite as effectively as a visit with a board or staff member. Also consider an open house or other casual in-person event for all donors (regardless of giving level) to meet and mingle with you and your team.
When donors see that you’re trying to communicate with them in ways they find convenient and meaningful, they understand how much you appreciate and value them. Find the perfect match between your organization’s capabilities and your donors’ communication preferences to build an effective, tailored communication strategy.
Learn more about how to create customized donor communications that increase engagement by downloading Donor Communication Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All.