We all crave positive affirmation, whether we want to admit it or not. We know that people do great and generous things out of the goodness of their hearts, but that warm, fuzzy feeling is also a huge factor in why we do what we do. And the same goes for your donors.
Giving your donors a proverbial pat on the back makes your donors feel appreciated, increases donor loyalty and, as a result, retention, and boosts fundraising results. In fact, fundraising expert Claire Axelrad dove deep into the psychology behind positive feedback and its affect on fundraising results in a post on her blog.
We can't discount the power of encouragement, so here are just a few reasons you should focus on donor love:
1. Appreciation: Your donors don't just want to feel like cash-cows, they want to know that their generous and well-thought-out donation was acknowledged and appreciated by your organization. According to Axelrad, "When your donor makes a gift, they need to know you appreciated it. This is not greedy or selfish behavior. It’s human behavior."
2. Loyalty: Making your donors feel appreciated by delivering positive affirmation - whether it's in the form of a thank-you call or a physical gift - leads to increased loyalty. When your constituents know that their donation is going to a good cause and they're getting continued encouragement from you and your team, they are more likely to continue to donate to your organization. Loyalty and retention? A pat on the back can go a long way.
3. Results: A study by Turnkey found that "recognition seekers were more likely to return and fundraise; when they did, they’d fundraise at a higher level." Donors will want to go where the results are, and keeping them coming back through acknowledgement and top-notch communication will be reflected in your fundraising efforts.
As humans, we seek affirmation for the actions we take and the decisions we make. Donor love is incredibly vital for the well-being of your nonprofit, so why not show your donors how much you appreciate them AND enjoy the positive results of that appreciation? What goes around, comes back around!