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Donor touchpoints: The importance of relationships

Connecting with your donors between asks is an important part of growing your relationship. Much like any relationship in our lives—if all we do is reach out to people (friends, co-workers, partners) when we want something, those relationships start to fizzle fast.

In sales, we think of the customer journey; the same can be said about donors. Think of your donors as needing to experience their donor journey—a guided trip you take with them, providing information and opportunities to build your relationship along the way.

Think outside the box

The easy route for donor touchpoints includes emails, text messages or mailed letters. Take your donor touchpoints further by thinking of opportunities by which you can connect with them personally in a way that other organizations may not. Use the data you’re collecting in your CRM as a way to figure out the best approach for connecting with your donors.

For example, if you’re able to pull attendance reports on the last time donors came to an event or visited your space, you can categorize those and reach out to donors who haven’t made a physical appearance in over a year, 6 months, etc. Give them a personal phone call and invite them to your next event, walk or showcase.

Another way to keep those touchpoints going on a personal level is to celebrate your donors’ special events. Use your CRM to track birthdays and other special dates in their lives and send a handwritten birthday card, congratulatory message or anniversary wish.

Need a few more ideas? Here’s a shortlist to get you started:

  • Invite them for a personalized tour of your program/space/facility
  • Invite them to attend an event for free
  • Interview them for a donor profile piece (for your e-news, magazine, blog, etc.)
  • Go to them—meet them where they are for a no-strings update visit and to gather feedback and input
  • Send a fun postcard or small swag gift just because
  • Produce a custom video message with URLs that can be sent via email or in a mailed card

Track your touchpoints

As you develop a strategy for how often you’ll reach out to donors outside of annual asks, ensure that everyone on the team knows what is being done by tracking these touchpoints in your CRM. Likewise, ensure that your donor touchpoints have more to do with your donors’ interests than with yours—another reason a CRM is a great tool to get to know and track information on your donor base.

Work together

Sit down with your communications team, your fundraising department and others in your organization in charge of sending communication out to donors and other constituents. Create an annual touchpoint calendar that includes dates and timing for annual asks, special campaigns and the “just because” touchpoints so that no one is stepping on toes and that you’re all on the same page. This will provide a nice visual for the months to come and will make the distribution and execution of those touchpoints easier as you move through them.

Combat donor attrition with a solid donor touchpoint strategy throughout the year. Think of these touchpoints as building blocks that helps create long-lasting trust and relationships with your donors for the long term.

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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