Keep Donors Engaged After the Crisis

June 9, 2020

Four Ways to Keep Donors Engaged After the Crisis

With our nation facing extreme challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and George Floyd tragedy, individuals everywhere have stepped in to donate and volunteer. But how do you keep donors engaged, especially if they are donating to your organization for the first time?

Strong passion and emotion drive their contributions while these disturbing events are in the spotlight, but when the crisis is over, three out of four first-time donors won’t donate to your organization again according to the 2019 M+R Benchmarks Study,

What is the key to keep donors engaged with your organization indefinitely? The answer isn’t rocket science: it’s communication. According to Cygnus Applied Research Inc., nearly half of all donors reportedly stop giving due to a failure to communicate.

Make donors feel like a superhero

How are you currently thanking your donors? Especially as the first touchpoint with a new donor, this step is key. Your message should be wholeheartedly centered on THEM and the impact THEY made. The better a donor feels about him or herself, the deeper your communication will resonate with them. Organizations often miss the mark here by trying to amplify the impact their programs are making, which can feel self-serving and won’t be as memorable to the donor.

Follow up with tangible impact

A major concern for donors is knowing how their contribution is used, especially if they are unfamiliar with your organization. Keep donors engaged and curb these fears by crafting intentional follow-up that features concrete evidence of their donation’s impact. Done tactfully, this can also present an opportunity to multiply their initial impact with an additional contribution.

Get personal with donors

Work toward understanding what drives each of your donors. While this is done best through in-person relationship building over time, a great first step is a survey. Keep donors engaged by understanding how they prefer to receive communication and gradually transition to which programs they are most interested in learning about, how they feel connected to your mission, and so on.

Give donors options

American dollar bill representing a nonprofit donation

It’s important not to overwhelm donors, but you also don’t want to lose their interest if their financial situation changes. Make sure you keep donors engaged by communicating a comprehensive overview of ways they can participate in varying roles and capacities, such as volunteering, board service, or even spreading your message.

Whether you’re on the forefront of these national fights or not, your organization is doing crucial work in the community. Make sure your donors are engaged by knowing your mission matters at all times – crisis or not. Communicating openly and often with these strategies in mind will help increase your chances of keeping new donors engaged with your organization.

Visit our main blog page to read more articles the Sunwest team has written about how you can help those in need during the pandemic and other crises.