Fundraising is the lifeblood of any nonprofit. If you want people to give to your mission, they need to know about your mission, care about that mission and understand the difference you make in the world.
Personalizing your communications helps achieve these goals. How? By deepening engagement.
Engagement is the strategic action of creating solid relationships with current and potential clients. In general, the average person sees 3,000 messages a day from businesses and organizations alike, meaning levels of engagement for the average person are pretty high.
And your message needs to stand out among the crowd.
When you personalize your emails and direct mail pieces, donors (or potential donors) are more likely to read them. Consequently, they are more likely to stay connected to your organization, stay informed about the work you are doing and be motivated to continue to help fund it.
While you can certainly reap significant gains from using complex, data-driven strategies, there are three simple approaches to personalization that can make a huge difference as well.
1. Talk to Donors by Name.
Although it might seem too simple, clients and donors alike love to be communicated with by name. Whether you are using direct mail or email, adding someone’s name is a simple process.
Think about the blueprint you have for your emails. By addressing each donor as an individual, your organization showcases that the person is not just another name on a list in your computer.
This is an easy entry into personalization (if you aren’t doing it already) and communicates to the donor that you value them. It also reminds the donor of their existing relationship with you and creates a subtle sense of responsibility to stay involved and continue to give.
2. Reference Their Previous Giving.
Chances are, you reach out to the same donors over long periods of time to support your organization. This means they have a track record of giving, and it’s something you should already be keeping track of. It’s this data that can help build on your personalization process.
After you address the donor (or potential donor) by name, you then reference the amount of the donor’s previous gift. If it’s a potential donor, try and do some research and see if they’re known for giving money to other charities or organizations.
By referencing their previous donations, the donor is likely to feel that they need to give at least the same amount again this time or to give for the first time. You can also challenge them to increase their generosity and give them some reasons as to why the increase will be worth it.
3. Give Updates on Their Favorite Projects.
After you’ve added their name and gotten them to donate either for the first time or to donate again, keep them in the loop. People love to see how their money is being used.
Be sure to ask donors about the aspects of your mission they care about most when they donate, then provide updates on these projects (including pictures) and tie their giving to this progress.
If your organization was helping renovate schools, you could say something along the lines of: “Your $100 donation helped us complete Phase 1 of our school renovations! We thought you’d enjoy seeing how things are coming along.”
Experts on Personalization
Personalization doesn’t have to be complicated, and even basic steps like these can reap big results. The bottom line is people like to know they are being seen and heard and that their money is actually helping someone in the world.
If you aren’t already personalizing your direct mail and email communications, talk to the experts on personalization at PMI. Let’s get your donor list longer than it’s ever been before.