Are Your Donors Feeling Your Love?

February 8, 2021 | Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA

Valentine’s Day is just ahead, Sun. Feb. 14th, so time is of the essence to mail your handwritten notes to your top donors, and also send a special email to your other donors, including your institutional and/or government funders.

 

Uniqueness of Valentine’s Day

Not all love is romantic. There’s also the love we have for our sister and brother, and the way love is celebrated between God and ourselves. Expressing love to a donor means you’re letting them know that you see them, and celebrate them, not for just their giving, but for who they are a key stakeholder in your nonprofit.

Do they even know they are a key stakeholder?

I set up Google Alerts for all my major donors, and reach out to them whenever they appear in the news.

 

Solicit or Not?

Generally, I avoid asking for support. Can a case be made for justifying asking for support, yes I am sure it can, but my thoughts are about cultivation and a genuine expression of love.

Your Valentine message is part of your larger stewardship and cultivation efforts. In the end you raise more revenue, and are able to deliver on your promise.

 

Texts, Calls?

If handwritten notes aren’t your thing, a short text message the day before, or the morning of, Valentine’s Day would be effective too, 10 am is ideal. The average American sends 41.5 text messages a day. A text message is the quickest way to connect with your supporters.

An astounding reason to act now is that donors who receive thank you phone calls give 39% more than donors who do not receive a call. A handwritten note is just as effective.

 

Videos?

Sending a short video, two minutes or less, of you sharing a personal message, is a home run. If you need to talk through the technological steps for making your own video, email LAPA’s Engagement Officer, Brian Dhaniram for a free 10 minute chat.

 

Donor Gifts?

Probably not. I explain why, and why not here.

 

Valentine’s Arrow Touches Everyone

My experience has shown me that when you involve others in sending handwritten notes, it’s a smart move. This offers a variety of voices and perspectives to donors, not just the CEO. Board members can also be engaged in fundraising without them having to make an ask. Sending a note from program staff can offer insight into the work of your nonprofit and help staff themselves understand the value of fundraising. A note from a beneficiary of your services can help a donor understand the impact of their gift. It also helps the beneficiary connect with another side of your work.

 

Sample

Here’s a sample you can emulate of a handwritten note that I am sending to one of our client’s donors. The womyn, Margo, that is mentioned is the CEO.

 

 

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