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You can’t be effective unless you know why people give (their motivations). Learn the motivations of your current donors by actually talking to them and asking them why they give to your organization!

Hosted By
Monica Maye Pitts
Monica Maye Pitts Chief Creative Officer

3 Reasons You Need to Know Why Your Donors Donate

Cliff Notes

  • You can’t be effective unless you know why people give (their motivations)
  • Learn the motivations of your current donors by actually talking to them and asking them why they give to your organization
  • You can use what you learn to hone in what’s most attractive in your mission for future asks – Whether through direct mail, thank you letters, impact reports, social media, or your website
  • Making your asks tailored to your donor interests makes it so much easier for them to say ‘yes’
  • This helps you know that the thing that you’re asking them to support your organization in doing, is exactly what they want you to be doing
  • It’s also nice to talk about what your donors like to talk about, rather than what you think they need to hear about
  • Understanding why your donors donate makes it more likely that they’ll donate again and increase their giving
  • If you understand why people love your organization, and some basic details about your existing donors, it makes it a lot easier to find other people who are like them
  • Use donor management software of even a spreadsheet to keep track of what you learn about your donors
  • Cultivating relationships with your donors and understanding why they give is the right thing to do because then you won’t treat them as just funders, money providers, or an ATM
  • A great way to learn from your donors is through a general donor satisfaction survey, and getting feedback from your event attendees
  • When getting donor feedback, ask them why they are interested in your organization
  • You can also do a thank you call, thank them for their gift, and ask them what inspired them to give today
  • If you feel like you don’t have enough time to make personal phone calls, carve out 30 minutes a week (or whatever chunk of time works for you) to do a batch of phone calls
  • Actually talking to your donors and hearing why you’re great will make you feel good too

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