There’s a better way.
What we give to donors must be more than pro forma “canned” appreciation. An annual listing and recognition of years/level of giving is lovely. Yet it’s not the same as having a real person pick up the phone and wish you a happy birthday. An analogy would be religiously receiving a birthday check from an aunt, with simply a signed Hallmark card. Nothing personal. And that’s it for the year. Our engagement with our donors needs to be similar to the way we’d engage with a friend with whom we wanted to build a real relationship.
Social media offers a wonderful new avenue for engendering donor loyalty. But we’ve got to be paying attention. It’s not enough to ask folks to sign up for our emails; join our Facebook group; tweet, pin… whatever. We must first determine which channels our particular constituents frequent. Once we’ve picked our channels, then we must engage in meaningful ways. Otherwise, it’s just noise.
Some ideas to show your donors some love and build a true friendship:
Create a pinboard on Pinterest to which you pin congratulatory notes whenever a supporter celebrates a milestone or receives an award.
Ask key supporters to guest post on your blog.
Create a LinkedIn discussion group and give your supporters the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with you and fellow supporters around issues of interest (you could even start several groups so that donors can select their area of greatest passion).
Be sure to include a comments section on your blog to foster two-way conversation.