thankQ Resources

Happy ‘Donorversary’! Why it’s important to make donation milestones count.

Regular givers. The holy grail of fundraising and an important source of fundraising dollars. It can take months – if not years – to bring them in, and only seconds to lose them. As we’re sure you know, the key to success is a donor journey that has supporter-need at its heart. It will prioritize relationship building and recognize that charitable giving works both ways. Because good fundraising isn’t just about short-term gain, it is about engagement, retention, and life-time value, especially during these challenging times. Whether you’re about to celebrate a donor’s first giving anniversary or 50th, ‘Donorversaries’ are the perfect opportunity to do just that.

We’re not suggesting you send a direct mailer to everyone in your database. Far from it. To make ‘Donorversaries’ count, you need to be strategic. A fundraising CRM will make it easy to analyze your data, identify key trends, and identify potential anniversary groups. You should use this information to think about who you’re contacting and why. Are you looking to run a reactivation campaign and bring lapsed donors back on board? Perhaps you need to reverse rising attrition rates, or celebrate a select group of committed givers? In reality, it’s probably a combination of all three. Let’s face it. One size does not fit all.

The trick is to build a matrix that matches response mechanisms to ‘Donorversary’ levels. You probably don’t want your President or Chairman to write a personal letter to a large group of one-time donors (unless they gave you thousands!). But this could be the perfect way to recognize a 10-year anniversary or their 100th gift. It also gives you the chance to test out new ideas, the most popular of which include:

  • Donor spotlights to share giving stories in newsletters, on social media, or your website.
  • Small tokens like a beneficiary designed ‘Thank You’ card, a short video, or photobook.
  • Event invites including VIP access to a planned event or a general invite to a donor get-together.
  • ‘Behind the Scenes’ project visits so that donors can see their gift at work.
  • Personal letters and phone calls from your team, a project manager or even your President!
  • A ‘Donor Hall of Fame’ at specific project sites or in the office.

None of these ideas are particularly expensive or difficult to deliver. What’s important is that you keep your communications personal – particularly as you move up anniversary levels. Unless you’re running a reactivation campaign, you should resist the temptation to ask for money. You can do that later. It is their anniversary after all. It’s their achievement, their day. No-one likes to be pestered and a ‘Thank You’ disguised as an ask won’t do much at all. But a sincere, handwritten card, a phone call, or other small token of appreciation? Everyone likes to feel valued and appreciated. You might not take it straight to the bank, but you know it’s a currency you can count on particularly during these challenging times.

Want to see how thankQ CRM can help you find your loyal donors? Contact us to set up your personalized demo.