How to Build Real Relationships with Your Donors


Don’t let your nonprofit be “that guy” at a party – the one who just talks about himself. Most nonprofits don’t talk to their donors often enough. And when they do, they tend to talk more about themselves than talking about the donor or the beneficiaries. Here’s what you need to do if you really want to build better relationships with your donors:

  1. Communicate frequently. Most donors read half or less of the communications you send.
  2. Talk to your donors about things they care about. Your donor tends to care more about the beneficiaries and what her gift will do to help them than she cares about your organization and your methods.
  3. Be sure to show your donors how their gifts made a difference. Don’t tell them that your program was successful, or how many people you helped, show them one person and tell them how their gift helped that person.

Do these three things and not only will you have better relationships with your donors, you’ll also have higher retention rates and you’ll raise more money.

Jim Shapiro

Jim Shapiro is the fundraising coach you’ve always wanted, the proven Sherpa who can help you get to the top of the mountain. Jim has 30 years’ experience raising money, including serving as the VP of Development for a global $100m nonprofit. He co-founded The Better Fundraising Co. to help small-to-medium nonprofits raise more money.

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