You have a new donor. Congratulations! But if you do nothing, chances are more than two out of three that they will never give to you again.
Renewal donations are even less likely if they didn’t give to you in the first place: they gave to their friend’s fundraising campaign. That donor has not gotten to know, like, and trust your organization.
Leave them alone, and they never will.
So, what can you do to win over that kind of donor? One thing that works, sometimes, is giving them the chance to get more involved right away–in the thank-you.
How the Innocence Project Thanked Me
The Innocence Project is an outstanding organization, but it hadn’t been on the list of groups that receive donations from my wife and me. Until this year. Then, a friend asked us to support the group to celebrate her birthday, and we did.
Here’s the thank-you email we received:
Dennis and Rona —
Thank you again for donating to the Innocence Project. Your contribution will go directly towards fighting to free innocent people, advocating for reforms that can identify, rectify and prevent wrongful convictions, and supporting exonerees as they rebuild their lives.
Last year, the Innocence Project’s policy team — in collaboration with the Innocence Network and other key partners — successfully won 21 major policy reforms in 17 states.
What They Gave Me, What You Can Give Donors
First, the Innocence Project gave me something valuable without any further ado: they gave me reasons to believe I’d done the right thing.
But then, they invited me to “join our social community.” Note that wording! I’m not following them. I’m becoming part of a larger group. Now, of course that means I will hear more messages from the nonprofit, but it also means I will add like-minded people to my social media feed–new friends I probably could not have found by myself.
If I’m not the joining type, they’ve given me a series to watch, so I will feel more informed…and closer to the organization and its work. And if I’m a shopaholic, I can go check out their store!
Whether they gave for the first time on an impulse or simply to support their friend, first-time donors are more likely to become second-, third-, and multiple-time donors if they take an action that makes them feel closer to your organization. Which of these things could you give your new donors?