This Valentine's week - How can you help your supporters feel even more loved?By Claire Fuller | Fundraising News Marketing | 15 February 2017
As Charles M Schulz says, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
With Valentines upon us this week, are you busily mailing boxes of chocolates to your loyal supporters, or are you planning other ways to let them know how much you love and appreciate them?
Why should organisations “spread the love” to their supporters?
It’s important to show your supporters how much you appreciate them for the vital part they play in helping your organisation carry out its mission. In many cases, without the support of loyal donors an organisation simply wouldn’t be able to achieve its aims and it’s likely that your supporters care as passionately about the cause as you do. For some supporters, your organisation is simply a tool to enable them to connect with a cause and do what they want to do – give!
If you can show your supporters just how important they are to you, the more “enabled” and “appreciated” they will feel and, in turn, the more likely they are to give again. Safe in the knowledge that they are valued as more than just a donation, but are making a real difference.
10 Steps to help your supporters feel more loved
There are a variety of ways to help your supporters feel loved. Here are a few top tips to get you started:
- Show your supporters just how awesome they are - Share powerful and emotional stories about the great things that have happened because of their support
- Thank your supporters for the specific contribution they have made to your organisation – don’t just send them an automated email, make it personal, they should know that you really mean it when you say thank you
- Treat your supporters as individuals – Give people the opportunity to tell you how often they’d like to hear from you and then respect this. Consider phoning people to thank them for their support as people love being personally thanked by a “human voice”
- Do a social media shout out to supporters – It’s a less personal approach (so shouldn’t be used on its own) but your message of thanks will quickly reach a large number of your supporters
- Invite supporters to events that you are hosting – Use this opportunity to treat them like special guests and clearly show them your appreciation
- Invite your supporters to “join the conversation” – Give them opportunity to provide feedback and tell you a little about themselves so you can tailor future communications to be most appropriate to their needs
- Personalise your correspondence – A handwritten note for a first time gift makes it clear to a donor that their gift matters and their support is valued. Likewise, a letter to thank supporters for their continued generosity shows that they are truly appreciated
- Talk to your supporters as people – sound friendly and colloquial, courteous and sensitive
- Use a variety of different methods of communication – Talk to your supporters by print, web, email, social media and SMS etc to increase the likelihood that they will hear your messages of thanks and stories of impact and if possible…
- … Know your audience and speak their language - Segment your supporters into specific groups so that you can approach them in ways they will identify with and speak about the things they care about
If “we are most alive when we’re in love” (John Updike) what can you do to show your love and appreciation to your supporters this year?
We hope this article has helped your focus on communicating with your supporters. If you’d like to explore the ways that Yeomans can help you with your communications please get in touch – we love helping you craft effective campaigns to get your vital messages to the right people, at the right time, in the right way.