Do you send out thank-you cards hoping that that gesture shows enough gratitude to someone who had donated their hard-earned dollars?


Donors want more from the non-profits they support.

If you are not going above and beyond you’re not standing out… and trust us, competition is fierce.

Let’s face it… There are tons of non-profits out there. How will yours keep donors coming back?

Here are 9 ways to develop an outstanding relationship with your supporters by giving them what they really want.


  1. They want to make a difference – Even if it’s a small donation, supporters want to feel valued. Someone might only be able to give 10$ to your organization but you should make them feel like that 10$ matters!


  1. They want to know they can trust you – There are so many non-profit organizations out there how can you know which ones are really doing what they say they are? Really drive home how much of a donation goes to the cause or have social proof on your website. People want to know they can trust you so the more transparent you can be the better.


  1. They want clear communication – People want to know how much their donation will help and the impact it has. When you are asking for gifts be straightforward, people don’t have time to be drawn into a long story. Bonus points if you make the donation process quick and easy.


  1. They want to know their impact – People want to know how big of a difference their donation will make. They may think 10$ won’t do much, so they might be hesitant to give. It’s important to really show how far 10$ will go. People love to know the impact they are making – doing this might even entice them to donate more because of the impact a larger donation could make…


  1. They want to feel appreciated – Some donors might be happy giving to you and receiving a thank you letter or email… But not all. Go above and beyond when it comes to following up on a donor with customized emails, handwritten cards, or even asking their opinion. For the donor, they want to feel valued and involved, so make sure the process doesn’t end at the “thank you”. Check out 15 Creative ways to thank your donor for inspiration.



  1. They don’t want to be asked for more money – We get it, you need to ask. But if all you do is ask donors will get tired of supporting you without getting anything in return. If you can develop a relationship with them and nurture that relationship they will be willing to give with only a little nudge rather than an obnoxious “help us”. Remember try not to make it all about yourself, after all, you’re a non-profit.


  1. They want to know you’re human – Donors don’t really want to give to your organization, they want to give to your cause and purpose. If you’ve done a good job of showing your authenticity and humanity people will relate more to those aspects and in turn be more receptive to giving.



  1. They want relevant information – If you let your donors know what is going on in your organization that’s great, but as a donor, they are more interested in how they have helped. Sending out information related to the project or cause they donated to is more relevant than a broad organization update.


  1. They want exceptional service – Donors expect service from your non-profit, just like they would from a business. If they have questions or concerns they want prompt responses and clear direction with courteous and friendly attitudes. Great customer service goes a long way, and your supporters are like your customers.


Most non-profits spend a lot of time trying to acquire new donors but doing this leaves your current donors feeling a little left behind. Focusing on providing an outstanding service to people who have already given to your organization is actually more cost effective. Research estimates that it costs ten times more to acquire a new supporter or donor than it does to keep a current one. If you treat your current donors right they can even become an advocate for your organization making them that much more valuable. So, make sure to listen to your current donors and nurture those relationships.

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