Easy Ways to Provide Transformational Experiences for Your Donors
In this series of three blogs on Shifting from Transactional to Transformational Fundraising, I explore how to enhance your donor program in order to be more aligned with Transformational Fundraising. Today’s blog, Part 2, is about developing effective ways to provide ‘transformational experiences’ for your donors.
In order to provide these experiences, we are going to explore the 5 Points of Possibility, a framework we use at Rainmaker Consulting for building a Culture of Philanthropy.
5 Points of Possibility
- Culture of Philanthropy is integral to our mission
- Everyone shares some responsibility for a Culture of Philanthropy
- We build and maintain deep donor partnerships
- Community engagement is what we do
- Every contribution of service, items or money is recognized as philanthropy
Inspired by Haas Report, Beyond Fundraising: What Does it Mean to Build a Culture of Philanthropy?
By Providing Transformational Donor Experiences We Build and Maintain Deep Donor Partnerships
By applying ‘transformational donor experiences’ to Point of Possibility #3, you’ll begin to identify how to build a more robust donor program and a Culture of Philanthropy. If you’ve ever been in sales, you’ve likely heard that “your best customers are your existing customers”. The reason sales managers say that to their sales reps is because it’s true! It costs several times more to get a new customer than it costs to maintain an existing one. That is also the case for donors.
Here are a few things you can do to keep your existing donors through transformative fundraising experiences:
- Create individual portfolios for each development professional, Executive Director and key board members, with highly personalized plans for your top 10% of your donors. (If this seems difficult and you want coaching, reach out to Rainmaker Consulting!)
- Plan and carry out monthly ‘touches’ to your top donors throughout the year
- Be sure that some of the ‘touches” are highly personalized
- Make more general plans for funders who are under that 10%
- Get to know your donors!
- Conduct a Discovery Meeting (Part 3 will cover this in detail) and find out their passions
- Connect them to a program that really inspires them. Find ways they can volunteer, or at least learn about what is happening in that program
- Show them via video, first-hand experiences or through staff reports of great Mission Moments – where they see the success of your agency in action
- Illustrate to your donors that they made a difference with their time and money
- Show photos or videos of your program in action
- Create impact reports that show how effective your program is
- Know their programmatic interest areas and be sure to focus your communications with them on those areas
Demonstrating to donors that they made a difference with their time and money, can be a meaningful, transformative donor experience. Interestingly, one of the main reasons that donors leave is because they don’t receive feedback that their money has made a difference. Losing existing donors is a tremendous and common mistake, as I mentioned in Part 1 of this series. What are you doing to ensure your donors feel the impact of their investment? Recognize that donors are like ‘investors’. If they don’t get the message that their gift was impactful, it appears that they made a poor investment; there is not a good Return on Investment (ROI).
If you aren’t always paying attention to the donor experience with your agency, you are overlooking the obvious. What will make them loyal to you?
Part 3 will dive deeply into getting to know your funders and build deeper partnerships with them.