What does your donation cycle look like? Does it end when folks donate? Or do you follow-up and begin to build a long-term donor relationship?
Following-up isn’t the end of a Donor Cultivation Cycle…but perhaps the true beginning.
That said, in this article we’re focusing on nothing else but the follow-up, and how nonprofit social media masters and page managers can leverage the full power of their Facebook action takers and donators.
The 5 Truths of Following Up
- Follow-ups are as important as the ask itself and call-to-action, so give them due respect.
- Folks followed-up with are more likely to continue supporting your cause turning them into long time supporters.
- Donations and support actions aren’t one-off things.
- Showcase support and the progress made thanks to contributions.
- Even a smidgen of personalization goes a looong ways! Include their name!
It’s too easy to let the digital divide hide our true humanity throughout this whole process.
The people on the other side of the screen are part of your team, and without them your mission wouldn’t have the same reach.
Denise McMahan spells it out this way:
“Many fundraisers don’t realize that the preparation for and conducting the Ask is 25 percent of the process and follow-up is 75 percent!”
Donators have already given, so asking for more without first giving them something in return is pushing the envelope…and rude.
The Art of the Thank you
However you decide to follow-up with supporters make sure to hand-tailor it!
Your follow-up should do these things is a positive, upbeat, and jovial way:
- Genuinely and authentically thank the person for their act of generosity.
- Put their choice and the ongoing (in-play) results on a pedestal.
- Send additional value-heavy info, or requested data about your cause.
In short, treat them as you would treat the team member sitting beside you. They’re now a part of the fold; the tribe; the clan…
Follow-ups aren’t marketing letters. They’re not brochures. They’re not sales-speak. They’re not an opportunity to get more, and more, and more from superficial vapid ‘profiles’ on the internet.
Allison Gauss paints a clear picture:
“Thanking donors isn’t just the polite thing to do, it’s the smart thing. One of the top reasons donors gave when asked why they stopped donating was that they were never thanked for their previous gift. At the very least, every donor should receive a thank you email, which can be easily automated and segmented.”
Let that sink in for a minute. One of the top reasons donors stopped donating was because they were never thanked for their support. Not following up with folks, and simply thanking, them is literally costing you money in lost donations.
That’s why it’s so important to follow-up and thank folks! Make sure it’s genuine, authentic and personal!
Gauss goes on to say:
“As stressful and time-consuming as a fundraiser can be, it can be tempting to simply move on when the deadline arrives. But if you’re not connecting with your community and learning from your results, you are missing out.”
By all means be systematic, strategic, and coordinated with your donor and supporter cultivation efforts. But, don’t lose that sincere human aptitude to show appreciate and follow through with people who have done you and your nonprofit cause a pure good.