Effective ways of communicating with donors.

People spend a lot of time driving through your website, but visits don’t equal donation! Once you have people on your website, it’s important that you draw their attention to your “donate now” button.


Give your “donate now” button the recognition it deserves, but do it with the right supporting elements.


People are visual beings. We like to “see” what we buy.  That’s why online stores use lots of product images and why brick and motor stores will never die.

Keep things simple, all while doing a great job of helping people, People should be able to see the value and impact of their donation.


Donors are always looking for some kind of feedback about how their money is used. There should be Evidence about how a charity is having an impact on the society with their donation.


However Donors of all stripes want some kind of reassurance that their donations aren’t going to waste and are somehow making a difference in the world.

Remember that people – all people – like to feel like part of a team. Everyone on Earth wants to feel like they are joined in a relationship with other people who are all marching towards a common goal.

Thus, one of the key strategies for your communications efforts should be to make people feel like part of your team. Talk to them as peers. Ask them for their suggestions. Keep them constantly in the loop. Make them feel like you’re all one big team working towards a common vision

It is important to understand that people like to be caught up in a larger vision. Because most people don’t like the fact that they get stuck in a “standard” routine, they like to break free by getting caught up in bigger stories and visions. Your non-profit is another great way for people to escape the routine and get caught up in a larger story and vision for the future. What work are you doing? Are you curing cancer? Feeding the hungry? Educating future generations? People want to get caught up in your vision… so let them.


Non-profit communications should be emotional… after all, you are doing life-saving, world-changing work. People want to get involved (and donate) when you touch their soul.

Use pictures, if appropriate. Show the concrete difference your organization is making in the world. Connect people with your mission and your results. Make them feel what you are saying, instead of just reading what you are saying.


Your donor communications should be written from a first person perspective, meaning you talk about “I” and “we” instead of “the organization,” or “the charity.” This means talking about “your past support,” “your concern for the poor,” “your assistance with this project,” “the difference you can make.” “You” is one of the most important words in a non-profit fundraiser’s

People like having conversations, but hate being “talked at.” In order to be really effective with your donor communications, you need to view the process as a conversation, not a lecture. Donor communications are a two-way street.

This is easy to say, but harder to actually do. I have found that some of the most effective ways to make your donors feel like they are having a conversation with you through your communications are to send out surveys on a regular basis, take online polls, solicit feedback from your donors / readers, hold online “office hours” or “roundtable discussions” for your donors on your website, and include contact information, including a phone number, in all of your donor communications items.

A picture’s worth a thousand words, the saying goes. But it should say, A picture’s worth a thousand words … that you don’t have to write … and I don’t have to read. We both benefit. You can often tell your donors a compelling story faster with photos than with prose. av2

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