If you’ve ever organized a fundraiser before, you know how hard it can be to grab the attention of potential supporters. You have to compete for people’s attention with the endless stream of information and advertisements made available to everyone in today’s world. For all the work it takes to simply get donors, however, it can be very easy to overlook an even more important aspect of running a fundraiser organization: keeping supporters once you have them.
Loyal repeat donors become important relationships for your organization if you put together fundraising events regularly, but getting to this level with your supporters isn’t always easy. There are so many small things you can do that are easy to overlook, but can leave a bad taste in donors’ mouths and prevent them from supporting your organization again. This blog entry will go over some of these pitfalls and discuss how you can avoid them in your fundraising efforts.
Give Sincere Thanks
One of the most common reasons people become dissatisfied with a fundraiser they support is that they don’t feel like their efforts are appreciated. If you fail to thank donors or if your gratitude comes off as canned and generic, people will most likely feel like you don’t really care about them and their donation didn’t really matter. Likewise, a stiff, overly formal thank-you letter can make your organization seem detached and aloof to the people who make it possible.
There are a few things you can do to make your supporters feel more appreciated, such as thanking them in a more sincere and personal way. If people feel like you took some time to thank them directly, they’ll feel more connected to your organization and be more likely to maintain a lasting relationship. Stay tuned in to our blog to read more about crafting a better thank-you to donors; we’ll be covering this topic in depth in our next article.
Make Donations Easy
Another common pitfall and perhaps the mistake that’s quickest to lose potential donors is making the act of donating to your organization more difficult than it needs to be. If there are too many steps or technical difficulties in the donation process, people will feel like it’s not worth it. Why should they have to struggle to do something they already went out of their way to do in the first place?
Make supporting your cause as easy and seamless as possible so that you won’t lose any supporters down the stretch. You can make donations easier by sending people reminders and even envelopes for them to mail their donations or payments in. You can also offer to input their credit card number into a system to schedule automatic payments.
Another way to make sure you don’t lose donors’ interest is to do something inspiring with the money they give you. If you’re changing lives or making a difference in your community, people will be much more likely to want to support your project than if your raising funds just for your own organization. What you do with donations needs to matter.
But it’s not enough to simply raise funds for a good cause; you have to sell this importance to your donors. Tell them stories, give them reason to trust your organization, and above all make them care.
Become a Donor Yourself
Above all, the best way to make sure you don’t make any mistakes that will cost you donors is to become a donor yourself. If you go out of your way to support fundraisers, you’ll soon learn first hand what sort of causes inspire you and what sort of obstacles make a fundraiser less appealing. Put yourself in your supporter’s shoes and it’ll become clear what a supporter wants out of a fundraising organization.
So those are a few things you can keep in mind when organizing your next fundraiser. Just think about things from a donor’s point of view, and you’ll be much more likely to keep long-term supporters who are passionate about working with you. We’ll supply the Butter Braid® pastries, all you have to do is inspire people to make some purchases for a good cause!<