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Donor fatigue? Here’s how to jumpstart fundraising with donor management

By June 27, 2016January 17th, 2020Donor Outreach
Donor fatigue is a real thing - here's what you can do about it.

An engaged, energized and interested donor base is a necessity for successful nonprofit fundraising. What happens when donors get tired of being treated like anonymous piggy banks, bombarded with the same donation requests?

Donor fatigue is a real thing, and every nonprofit has to deal with it at some point. It occurs when supporters get overwhelmed by the constant barrage of uninspiring emails, letters, calls and social media communications, leading them to withdraw from fundraising activities altogether. This withdrawal can hamper fundraising for nonprofits and cause the donor-organization relationship to stagnate. How can good donor management help energize your tired donors and bring them back into the fold?

“You need to constantly mix things up to keep your donor base interested.”

Make your communications count
It’s okay to be choosy with your messages, no matter the medium. When these messages becoming repetitive, supporters are going to get tired and tune out, just like they would for a boring book, movie or TV show. You need to constantly mix things up to keep your content fresh and your donor base interested.

Create short, entertaining but informative videos for donors who are tired of reading long missives. Share emotional stories related to your mission. Show your donors the good their money is doing. Put a spotlight on the people they’re helping, and the unsung heroes in your organization. Look for new ways to tell compelling stories related to your organization’s mission.

Focus your messages
Personalized communications can go a long way with your donors. Nobody wants to be treated like they’re anonymous by getting the same old donation appeals. Using these messages to keep donors up to date about your goings-on, and keep them open to giving, is crucial. While you have many channels at your disposal to reach out to these folks, don’t overdo it. Getting too many communications is going to turn them off and lead to donor fatigue.

Personalizing these communications for each giver can make a huge difference. Some people prefer phone calls, while others would rather receive emails. They also have preferences for how often they should receive messages. A simple online survey can get you all of this information on communication channels and frequency. A more focused message is a more effective one. Most importantly, listen to your donors, and learn when and how to best reach out to them.

“Donor management helps build a powerful partnership between you and your donor.”

Automate giving
Benefactors may still want to help, but nobody likes to be inundated with a barrage of spammy donation requests. If donors still care about your mission but they don’t want to deal with constant requests, give them the option to sign up for monthly, automated donations.

By creating this monthly membership opportunity, your donors can sign up to give each month, while only having to fill out a donation form once. This ongoing, automated donation model saves patrons trouble, while letting you reduce your requests as you continue to receive monthly donations. It’s a more streamlined and donor-friendly method that allows you to focus on engaging the community with fresh content, instead of asking for more money.

Give back to the givers
Donor management helps build a powerful partnership between you and your donor. Consider what makes these donors good prospects for your organization – do they share similar values with your nonprofit? What are their interests and needs? Would they like to be more involved? How has your organization shown its appreciation for past gifts? Think about the people on the other end of these messages, and how your organization can better connect with them.

Learning more about your donors as individuals and keeping their needs in mind will help you to foster a strong long-term relationship. Be quick to acknowledge them for past gifts, and make sure they understand all of the good their donations have done. This is more engaging to donors than simply asking for money – they’re people, not piggy banks, after all.

Donor management software can help foster stronger relationships with your givers, keeping them engaged and preventing donor fatigue. To see how software can help jumpstart your fundraising programs sign up for a free trial with Eleo Online.