Key takeaways in this post:

  • Show donors how their support benefits people.
  • Respond quickly to their gifts with meaningful thanks and show them the immediate impact of their contribution.
  • Host activities and events to help donors feel part of a larger community and deepen engagement.
  • Look at what works throughout the year and use those insights to guide your end-of-year efforts.

Maintaining donor relationships is crucial for nonprofits. They provide financial support and are the foundation for lasting growth. That’s why it’s essential to nurture and focus on these relationships.

This fall, your foundation might be gearing up for one of its busiest seasons. September through December is the perfect time to remind your community of the great things you’ve done together.

People like to be generous and show gratitude through events like Giving Tuesday. But this season can also feel hectic for your donors.

They’re receiving requests from every other organization — on top of their own plans. So, how does your foundation rise above the noise instead of joining the cacophony?

As the end of the year gets busy, people often prioritize time with family and friends. They do this because they value those two-way relationships.

At WG Content, we specialize in building meaningful relationships, one word at a time. We’re sharing four ways your team can create genuine, two-way relationships with your foundation donors. They will also help you get the most from end-of-year giving.

1. Forget your organization and focus on the people

While your donors may write the foundation name on the check, they’re not giving it to you. They’re giving to their community, patients and medical students. They’re also giving to family members who will need care at your hospitals.

Donors use philanthropy as a powerful tool to make a difference. So, use your communications to make them feel like a force for good.

Saying, “Thank you for giving to our foundation,” feels impersonal and unspecific. Instead, help donors see the patients, doctors and nurses they’re helping. Say: “You’re supporting trials that help cancer patients live longer.”

Have you ever texted someone something vulnerable, only to wait hours for them to respond? It’s awkward at best and agonizing at worst.

That’s how your donors can feel if they make a gift and receive crickets in return. Avoid letting the conversation lag. Respond right away to show your appreciation.

We live in a world of instant gratification and feedback. Go beyond a typical “thank you” response and create more personal experiences.

Immediately connect foundation donors with content that shows the effect of the gift they’ve given. Share a live funding meter that includes their contribution.

Your foundation can connect people with something they want to support — and immediately help them feel good about it. You can show your gratitude in so many ways.

Use fundraisers to kick off something great: a new group or community. Younger donors, especially millennials and Generation Z, want their gifts to connect them to a larger purpose for their community.

Can you foster two-way relationships by uniting people with shared beliefs or passions? Can you foster activities that encourage them to relish their shared interests?

Your foundation can plan new events to bring these groups together. In the process, you’re also nurturing your donors and their natural interests.

Wondering what will work this giving season? Your best bet: look at what works the rest of the year.

First, build your content marketing cache with stories that help donors see themselves in the work you’re doing. Stories about doctors, researchers and nurses give a face to large academic medical centers.

Grateful patient stories help donors see how their gifts change people’s lives. Gathering these stories now will prepare you for the fall and winter giving seasons.

Then, test and measure the success of these stories throughout the year. Find out which stories resonate with each audience, so you know what to highlight when the busy seasons come.

Build lasting donor relationships year-round with WG Content. Our content strategists and writers have experience in healthcare, including nonprofits and foundations.

We’ll help you create content that fosters beneficial two-way relationships. We can be an extension of your team however you need us.

If you have the strategy but struggle with bandwidth, we can craft content for the following assets:

  • Websites
  • Newsletters
  • Videos
  • Emails
  • Stewardship reports
  • And more

If you want big-picture support, our content strategists can create the blueprint for building personalized donor communications for your team to execute. Contact us today.

It’s important to strike a balance between staying top-of-mind without overwhelming donors. A good rule of thumb is to communicate with donors at least once a quarter. Personalize communications based on their preferences and needs.

Nonprofits can use social media platforms to implement the following strategies:

  • Share compelling stories.
  • Provide updates on their impact.
  • Engage with donors through comments and direct messages.

Measure the effectiveness of communications by tracking these metrics:

  • Donation amounts
  • Donor retention rate
  • Engagement levels

You can also track the conversion of potential donors into actual donors.

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