In recent decades, there have been dramatic changes in the way we communicate. It’s fascinating how far we’ve come since Alexander Graham Bell first launched a device that electrically transmitted speech – the telephone. Since then, we’ve seen the invention of home computers, emails, smartphones, tablets, laptops, MP3 players, e-book readers, and the list goes on (and on).
Studies show the approximate number of electronic devices per household is 24. And it’s estimated that by 2020, internet-connected devices will reach the average ownership of 4.3 per person. Beyond reaching out via technology, also consider traditional forms of donor communication such as mail and one-on-one conversations.
While the multiple ways to communicate with donors provides churches and faith-based organizations with an excellent opportunity to inspire giving, it can also be a challenge to keep up with the ways donors like to be reached. Not to mention that once you reach donors, you need to rise above the noise, so your message is heard.
To help improve donor communication, here are 4 effortless tips you can start applying today.
1. Identify the different ways donors communicate
Since the internet, all age groups have adjusted how they exchange ideas and information. According to the Blackbaud Index, online giving has been up all year and it increased 10.8% in September alone. These numbers show us that a significant portion of donor communication efforts can be dedicated to internet-based devices.
Prepare for the different online giving preferences by utilizing multiple options such as text giving, mobile apps, Facebook apps, and dedicated giving pages on your church’s website. For those that prefer to tithe after being inspired by a Sunday service, provide giving kiosks if they didn’t bring cash or prefer using a card. Reporting tools can also help church leaders identify how donors like to be reached and how often they prefer to give.
2. Create a heartfelt communication calendar
When finalizing a generosity campaign, don’t just stick the donor information in a database to collect dust. Communicating throughout the year, beyond church fundraising, is key to building relationships. A heartfelt communication calendar goes beyond raising money, so it never feels like a one-off donation. Remember, each donor communication should be a fluid movement that leads to the next church fundraiser or giving campaign.
A heartfelt communication calendar should include individual dates for the donor such as birthdays, or it can involve reaching out to a group like recurring givers. There’s still time to create a communication calendar for your Year-End giving campaign when sending those last-minute reminders and first few thank you notes. And be sure you add a future date to reach out to donors beyond sending the thank you to keep communications flowing.
3. Use brevity (and longevity) strategically when reaching out
When reaching out to donors, use brevity to your advantage. People spend an average of 15 seconds looking at an email, text, or social media post before moving on. And let’s face it – who has more time to spend than that with information coming at us from all angles!
Your job is to capture the attention of donors with just a few words, and we know that isn’t easy. Keep the message short and to the point regardless if you’re asking for a gift or simply touching base. Not only will the brief, yet meaningful, message be well received, but it will also be appreciated because it adds to their day without taking away those precious moments in it.
In the same vein, some people expect more information. This helps them decide if the specific donation, or the church itself connects with them. Provide a link leading to a page with more substantial content, such as your church’s mission statement or the details about the different fundraising causes.
4. Keep the message fresh
It can be easy to hit auto-pilot when it comes to your generosity campaign, especially when finding a formula that you’ve seen success from. But over time, donors start to notice that they’ve heard it all before. In fact, donor retention rates dropped to 46% in 2016. With the evolving forms of communication, it’s tough to keep people engaged in your message. But it’s even harder when your message is stale or recycled from last year.
To improve donor communications, keep your message fresh and relevant. Even a few small tweaks to your giving campaign can give it a lift and make it stand out. Updating images, adding videos, and offering more than one cause to donate to are just a few ideas.
Let easyTithe provide you with a comprehensive online giving solution to help improve donor communications and increase giving. Feel free to call at 1-888-778-4843 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or get started right away!