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Keep Your Friends Close

by ticketprinting on October 25, 2010

Are you loving your supporters to death? Driving them away with your attention? Or even annoying them with your methods? Charitable organisations much keep their donors happy or risk losing their base. Perhaps you spend hours brainstorming ways of rewarding the most loyal, but have you given a thought to mistake you might be making?

Consider these three ways that some organisations drive off existing supporters, lost potential donors, and otherwise sabotage their own missions:

1) Make them do all the work

If you’ve spent a fortune updating your website, don’t sit back and wait for folks to find it! Having a splendid website is only the first step. It’s up to you to drive traffic there. There’s no quick fix for this: paid advertisement is simply not the best way to drive clicks. Rather, people respond to other people. Why not find the websites where potential supporters are already participating? Become active in those communities, leaving intelligent posts and comments in forums. Add your URL at the end of each post, and interested parties will follow your link home!

2) Make them do work they don’t want to do

Most people do not care to read dry pages of figures, interminable reports, or constant updates. We’re already inundated with information, and may have difficulty sifting through to find the important parts. If you send out too many emails or newsletter, or overload your communications with excessive facts, numbers, and details, you’ll lose readership and disconnect from your base. Instead, limit your emails to no more than one a week, and keep those short. Choose a few powerful anecdotes, rather than an exhaustive list of accomplishments. You can make the complete information available elsewhere, but not in people’s inboxes!

3) Don’t let them do any work at all

Some groups become so focused on their mission that they forget their supporters entirely. Would you rather lose out on a big donation because the donor’s purpose does not completely fit your own? Would you prefer to alienate potential supporters rather than reconsider how you work? Intractable organisations don’t make or keep friends easily. Instead, try opening your administration up to others’ ideas. Let your supporters feel that they have a say in how their money is spent, and that they are important in your decision making process. Solicit ideas and be open to advice. Make them feel welcome and they will return the favor.

Keep those donors happy, and when your annual fundraiser comes around, they’ll be happy to purchase more Event Tickets than ever.

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