Developing a robust monthly donor program means creating numerous opportunities to cultivate and steward donors. This of course can be a challenge since monthly donors are automatically giving, which doesn’t present many natural opportunities for contacting donors. This means that it’s up to us to create this opportunities.
Here are 5 ways to improve monthly donor relations through cultivation and stewardship opportunities at your non-profit.
- Make thank you phone calls to monthly donors when you send out year-end tax receipts – Mailing tax receipts is a great opportunity to talk with monthly donors. You can thank them for their giving the previous year, tell them about some of the work that’s happened recently and ask if they have any questions. It’s also an opportunity to make sure that you have all of their information correct in the database record.
- Create an annual stewardship report specially designed for monthly donors - Your non-profit’s annual report might be condensed because it goes out to all annual donors, but your monthly donors are making a deeper commitment. A stewardship report is a great opportunity to report more on direct impact donor dollars are having, stories from programs and demonstrating greater accountability If you have a large number of donors over 60 years old, they will appreciate a piece like this.
- Schedule a special tour day of your organization’s facilities - Donors love to get an “inside look” at non-profits and even if you don’t think your facilities are anything special, think again. Arrange a day to invite a group of donors down to your facility for a tour and maybe even have coffee/tea/snacks available at the end to continue conversations. I recommend organizing the even for a group of 10 to 20 people, but you’ll probably need to invite 100 to 200 people to get that kind of attendance. I make this recommendation because people are more inclined to attend if they know that there will be others attending.
- Mail out 5, 10, 15 or 20 year anniversary cards – It’s easy for monthly donors to fall off the grid or for donors to not realize how long they’ve been giving to your non-profit. Use a significant giving milestone to remind them of the special connection they have to your organization through a card with a hand written note.
- Answer inquiries/questions/concerns within 24 hours – As a Development Officer, I remember that one of the most challenging part was making time in my schedule to answer donor inquiries. But these should have been a top priority because in truth, donors are the ones who perpetuate your organization and its work. Being good stewards of their gifts also means fostering positive relations with them regardless of the circumstances and always putting the donor first.
These five ideas are really just the tip of the ice berg for monthly donor stewardship. Please leave a comment below with something that your non-profit does for monthly donors and how you make time for it in your busy schedule.
P.S. Want even more ideas and advice for stewardship? Join me this Thursday for Steward Your Donors for Retention – a webinar!