Ep 165 | Creating Unique Donor Experiences

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How can you build unique donor experiences into the mix to get donors to keep coming back? It may take a little extra time but much of it can be automated and streamlined to make it easy on an ongoing basis. This is a long term strategy but will really help with building. andgrowing your donor base.

What you'll learn:

→ how to brainstorm your experiences.
→ why regular outreach is critical.
→ ways to add value.

Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:

[4:20] Monthly Donors Take time every month to reach out to your monthly donors. Use email, phone calls, or handwritten notes to interact and show your appreciation for their donations. Showing your donors what their money is doing can lead to more or higher donations in the future.
[7:13] Monthly Programs Provide monthly or quarterly programs to keep your donors engaged. Using at-home activities or providing workshops can lead to increased interest and participation, which can lead to more donations.

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Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] The way that we treat our donors once they enter our world makes a big impact. Because something like 76% of donors don't give to your organization again. And that's crazy. You've already done all this work to acquire them and bring them into your network. And then they maybe only hear from when you send them a tax receipt or when you need new funds. So today, we're going to think about some ways that you can create that customer experience, like when you go to your favorite store, or buy your favorite subscription box. So that you can really come up with some fun ideas to keep your donors engaged, keep them growing with you, so that you can continue to work them up the ladder, and they can continue to give more and more to your organization. I'm so excited about this topic, because I think it's something that we don't spend enough time on, or we just think well, they're only giving us $5 a month. So that's not worth our time. But really, when we think about those people that are coming in at the beginning stages, testing out an organization, trying this out to see how we're going to treat them, and if this is the cause for them, prime opportunity to keep them coming back, and $5 a month over a period of time you increase them to 10, 20, 50. That's a significant amount of money over a period of years. So I think it's time to rethink how we spend our time cultivating donors at the beginning stages so that we have an easier job of turning them into bigger donors when we get further down the road. But before we get into this episode, it is brought to you by our website Wednesdays. These are free workshops one Wednesday a month that help you with a very specific topic on your website, and they’re free, pitch free, just here to give you a little bit of information and answer any questions that you have, for 30 minutes, and there's no replays available, you got to show up live. So to get information on the topic for this upcoming website Wednesday workshop, head on over to thefirstclick.net/website-Wednesdays. Hope to see you at a future one. But for now, let's get into the episode. 

[INTRO] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I want you to think about the favorite subscription box that you have and think about what are the favorite parts that you get from it. So for example, I get the FAB Fit fun box. And one of the things that I love about it is if you're an annual member, then you get to kind of help customize and pick the things that you want in your box. And so it's just kind of a fun way for me to kind of create that customized personal experience. I also love that they randomly select things for me. And it's just kind of a fun thing to get to spoil myself on a quarterly basis. If you're not a product base, and there's nothing that you can do in that regard, then there's also amazing things that can happen with things like Netflix. So Netflix, obviously the service, you stream the movies, but one of the things that I love is I get emails from them when a new season comes out from a show that I've been watching, or a monthly email that says hey, these are things that you might like based off of what you've already been watching. I also love when I buy stuff from Amazon, it's going to check back in with me and see, how was the order? So that they can work with their vendors to do better, or these are products that you might like. Now, sometimes it does get a little overwhelming and obnoxious. But really, it's just a way for companies to stay in touch with you to keep you top of mind so that you continue to come back and see value and what it is that they're doing. And you as a nonprofit can do the exact same thing. It's a little bit different. I understand that. But there's ways that you can provide experiences and provide value to those donors so that they continue to come back and it can look like a couple of things. 

It could look like a dedicated email that's just to monthly donors, a dedicated email that's maybe just to like your middle or more high, high donors. So it just really depends on what your model is for your business. But I want to talk more specifically about your monthly donors because I think this is where we really miss the mark. We get in this mindset of we don't have time to nurture them. They're not giving us enough money, but that's really kind of the opposite of where we want to be. We want to be nurturing them along the way because it's just like any other business. You want to kind of keep, we have done a lot of episodes on kind of sales funnels and lead gen, right, we want to keep filling the top of our cup so that we have more people to have conversation with, we're learning more about them, we're building more of a relationship with them. So as we ask them to give us more money down the road for different projects, we can be hyper specific like a Netflix might be. So let's just start at the beginning. So we have donors that are giving 5,10, $15 a month, right? And we've given them some value for that, we've already said, you know, this donation helps serve, you know, give 20 meals to families in need, right? They already have that. So now we need to layer in that value as we go. So if, you know, it could be that once a month, you're making phone calls to people that have increased their donation, so maybe they went from 10 to 20. So you're gonna call them all every month, or maybe, you know, have a phone bank of people that are going to call them to thank people for increasing their gifts. I love a handwritten note. And I know that these things take time, and there's ways to automate them. But these things are not things that other organizations are doing. So if I give you $10 a month, and I get a handwritten card, I'm going to really be touched and feel appreciated that you took the time out to do that, because nobody else is doing it. So we're just doing these little things to continue to secure that we are here to take care of you and your money matters to us, it makes sense, it makes an impact for our organization. Now, there's other things that I love, like the newsletters that we talked about. So like I mentioned, $20 makes 20 plates of food. So maybe once a month, you're giving out, you're using your network of chefs and people that are helping to do boots on the ground and make these meals. And they get a newsletter with a really fun recipe from a chef at a restaurant, right, but only the monthly donors are getting that. So that's something that they can use to provide value. And it's always reminding them that oh, hey, I'm also every month, like I said, 20, I made 20 meals this month. And the important thing with these is it's not an ask, these are just and you can have your information. But these are just pieces of information to provide value, and add value. 

Let's say I'm giving monthly to a local Boys and Girls Club. So maybe once a month, I get a kid's activity to do at home, when my kids aren't at the club, or I'm getting a, maybe once a quarter, there is a workshop with somebody in child development that's coaching on a program, right things that don't cost you really a lot of money, but then also allow you to do some engagement. And I love the idea of offering like quarterly workshops, or monthly, if you can do them to your monthly members, if it makes sense based off of how your organization works. Because they get tremendous value. And it also opens up an opportunity for you to have conversation about what you need, because they're engaged. And they're really wanting to learn more. And if they're showing up for a live call, then I hope you're making notes of those people that are there. Because this is the beauty of the long term thing, right? You're getting notes, you're getting a history, hopefully all of this stuff is being tracked in your CRM. So I know that you know, Suzy is showing up to every single live workshop. And I know that on this one particular one about maybe it's about LGBTQ topics with youth that she was really, really engaged and really wanted to ask a lot of questions and was really participating. So we know we're launching a new program specifically to provide support for the LGBTQ community. So I'm going to reach out to her and see if maybe she would be interested in giving a $50 gift, in addition, just to that program, so you really start to plant the seeds. Now she says yeah, okay, I would love to do that. Now you've opened up a one on one conversation with somebody who's still giving to you monthly, and you can continue to build and grow from there. So that's really the beauty in these monthly programs and building those relationships with people. And seeing history over time. So same thing, if somebody is giving 10 or $15 a month, whatever the amount actually doesn't even really matter. But if somebody is continuing to give to you for five years, maybe on that fifth anniversary, it's like, Hey, we're going to you've been giving to us for five years, and hey, we're celebrating everybody that has done has been a five year giver, and we're going to have this whole celebration, we'd love you to come to a lunch, we're going to celebrate you, whatever that looks like. But again, now if they're giving to you for five years, they care about your organization and they probably are willing and ready to dive deeper. Probably even less, like two years, you could have some sort of conversation. But again, it gives you a reason to reach out even if it's just a Hey, it's your one year anniversary of giving to us monthly. You know, here's all the things we accomplished in that last year and your donations were part of helping make that happen. Right? So sort of personalizing it, but not having to get too specific. But just opening the door for more conversation. So that's really what I want you to think about with today's episode. The little episodes are never that long, because I feel like I want you just to jump in and take action. And I'm so excited for you to do so. So really think and map out, What does your monthly donor program look like? And there's more to it, obviously, than just the customer experience. But what kinds of things can you do to make it unique? How can you give it a name? How can you channel the inner organizations that you love to be participating in and kind of add some fun experience things? And really, the key of all of this is how can you make it about them? And if anyone on your team says we don't have time to do that, I want you to just say we're not, you know, just brainstorm it, figure it out, see what things are going to work for you. And then kind of go from there. Because I guarantee you if you say it's really important to us that we call every donor within the first month or three months that they're giving to us, you will figure out a way to make it happen. And then once you start to do it, you'll see some big differences and how people are interacting and engaging with you. It's so much easier to ask somebody to just do a $5 monthly donation, or to do a $10 or $20 and have that just be a thing that they do. So that it's on you to continue to help them feel good about what they're doing, feel the impact of what they're doing and want to help your organization thrive. Okay, so hit me up and let me know, Sami@thefirstclick.net, that's S A M, I. I'd love to hear or see your monthly donor program. I think they're amazing and let me know what fun and unique things that you're doing inside of your programs that you know we can share with our audience. So again, I hope you will subscribe wherever you listen so you don't miss out on a single episode. We're on all of the streaming platforms and if you can't find us there, let us know we'll get added. But I so appreciate you taking time to listen each and every week and I will see you in the next one.

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