4 Actions to Turn New Supporters from Community Fundraising into Lifelong Ambassadors.
- December 5, 2017
- 5 min read
Supporters who are introduced to you through a friend needs a special approach. Here are four recommendations on how to get a new supporter from community fundraising, who just made a donation to your charity through a friend, to become a dedicated supporter.
What is so special about supporters who first interact with you through community fundraising?
Donors who donate to their aunt’s or best friend’s fundraiser are donating because of their personal relationship. It is a matter of close relations rather than a matter of them caring deeply about your cause. That is both a strength and a weakness of community and event fundraising (or peer-to-peer fundraising). The good part is that it is a way to meet new supporters; supporters that might otherwise never have been introduced to your cause. Using the right tools, community fundraising can increase your reach by a large margin.
But it is also a challenge. There is the risk that your new supporters just saw the friend’s appeal, donated, and never really took proper notice of you – the charity. The consequence is that you have new supporters that might not even remember the name of your organisation a week later.
4 recommendations on how to follow up on a peer-to-peer donation
Here are our recommendations for how to overcome this challenge, and to deliver the best start to the relationship between these new supporters and your organisation.
1) Remind donors who they donated to and what cause they have donated to
At the first contact after their donation acknowledge that they might not remember the organisation they supported. So use what you know they do remember, namely the individual that made the appeal for the donation. Start out your email with something like:
“Thank you for your donation to [fundraiser first name] [fundraiser last name]’s fundraiser.”
Next give them the shortest, simplest, the most tangible impact of their donation. Don’t assume any knowledge on their part. Think of this as a two-line sales pitch. Don’t assume they will read more than the very least they can get away with.
2) Expose them to your brand before, during and after they donate
One reason donors through community fundraising so easily forget the charity they have donated to, is that in many cases they have donated through a giving platform. Here they have been heavily exposed to the platform brand and not your organisation’s brand.
The optimal solution would be to use a white label platform on your own website (such as BetterNow) instead of a giving platform. The second best is to educate and help the fundraisers, so they tell your story in the best possible way. This can e.g. be done through e-mail appeal templates, videos to be included on the fundraising pages and branded handouts.
Make sure to reinforce your story and your brand through the whole journey starting from the time a fundraiser makes an appeal and right up to the thank-you page after the donation.
3) Don’t assume a receipt is a place for donor communication
An email with the word ‘receipt’ in it, will be archived faster than you can say Thank You. The receipt is nothing else than a receipt; don’t communicate anything other than financial details. We suggest sending the first real thank-you message shortly after the receipt. Preferably with a very short delay, but no later than the same day to keep it fresh in memory.
4) Enroll them in a specifically designed email journey
The purpose of all this is to turn a one-time donor into a life-long supporter. That isn’t done in one email (sorry), and no one has ever become a lifelong supporter after receiving a one-size-fits-all newsletter throughout a whole year. This is where automated email journeys come into play.
Here it might make sense to treat new donors that have come in through community, event and peer-to-peer fundraising differently than other leads. Maybe they need additional information about the organization before you can make an ask about becoming a monthly donor, maybe it is the opposite. There is no ready fit-all answer for how to design this journey, except to test and monitor.
Hopefully, you can apply some of the steps above. Few things are as valuable for a charity as a stable, loyal group of supporters. We hope this will help just a little in achieving this goal.
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