Burnout is a very real concern in the not-for-profits sector. It’s not just something that befalls staff members and volunteers, either. Donors can also fall victim to fatigue and decrease their interest and engagement with your NFP. To prevent burnout, you need to understand the natural cycles that affect your relationships with your donors and take steps to build your connection with them to keep increasing the results of your fundraising campaigns.
Build a Foundation
Regardless of whether it’s a personal or professional relationship, it takes time to get to know others and establish rapport. In the early days of your nonprofit, your focus should be on creating a donor acquisition plan. During this stage of development, your main goals are to find as many ways as possible to introduce your nonprofit, it’s work, and, yourself, to your community.
Maintain Your Relationships
As interest begins to build in your nonprofit, it’s important that you don’t spread yourself too thin. Recruit board members and others in your organisation to help you with your outreach to your donors. Offer fundraising campaigns that will appeal to a wide range of potential donors. Follow up personally with those key individuals who are most excited and engaged with your work.
As you work on maintaining and strengthening bonds with your community, look for ways to gain insight and feedback from your service beneficiaries, as well as your donors and other supporters. This way you can learn more about the true needs in your community, and what donors want to see from your organisation in terms of programs and services as well as information. Make certain that your programs put beneficiaries first, to ensure that your services are relevant.
Keep the channels of communication open and explain the difference that you are making in human, relatable terms. Doing so will help to build trust and credibility in your community. At this stage, you should be encouraging those who make annual or one-time gifts to consider making recurring gifts and always be encouraging your donors to support your organisation in multiple ways.
Prepare for the Future
As the relationship between your donors and organisation grows and matures, look for ways to show your gratitude to your key donors. In addition to thank you notes and acknowledgements which you should send to all donors at every level, celebrate how much your organisation has already been able to accomplish. Keep in touch with your key donors and keep them informed about the progress you are making. Share and emphasise your nonprofit’s vision for the future.
Ask donors for their insight and input on your future goals and what type of impact they would like to see occur. Use the information that you learn to create proposals that are tailored to the needs of individual donors and ask them to consider making a substantial investment in your work so that together, you can build a better future for your community.