Skip to main content
Nonprofit Leaders Product Features & Updates 6min read

What to do After the First Donation to Keep Donors Engaged with Your Cause

Both the donor and the organization experience a honeymoon phase after that very first donation. Both are happy and feel positive about their budding relationship. But just like in a marriage, that honeymoon phase comes to an end. A donor-organization relationship requires work to keep it blossoming and growing. 

The organization is responsible for making this happen. Nonprofits can nurture donor relationships by having excellent fundraisers at the helm and by using strategies that make donors feel valued and encouraged to give again. Read on to learn more!

What are Fundraising Skills?

Unfortunately, not everyone is suited to run a fundraising campaign. Finding the right people to head a campaign is often a challenge. In fact, it takes individuals with unique skills to successfully pull off such a task. So what abilities does a person need to run a successful fundraiser? Look for these qualities in your front-line fundraisers:

  • Authenticity: The people heading your campaign need to be authentic. Authentic people express their personal views clearly. But they also put the values of their organization before their own. They keep the message simple without compromising their personal integrity.
  • Communication: Great fundraisers also have the gift of gab. They know what to say and how to say it. One must know how to put big ideas into simple words when speaking with the masses. Good communicators can teach and inspire contributors at the same time. They speak to people at their own level.
  • Research: Fundraising requires analytical thinking. Every campaign gathers data about its donors. But that data has no use unless someone knows how to read it. A great fundraiser knows what information to collect. He or she knows how to interpret that data. A successful fundraiser uses donor information to personalize communications. They create meaning from numbers.


What are Some Fundraising Strategies?

Nonprofits must take steps at strategic times when running an email donation campaign. One of the most important times to reach out is right after a contributor makes that first donation. A thank you response is needed immediately. This thank you can be a simple email stating gratitude for their contribution. But you could also follow up with an appreciative phone call or a formal thank you letter. 

Another thank you option is to send a welcome packet. Welcome packets provide donors with the details about your organization's mission. It is a chance for them to get to know more about your cause. A packet can feature your successes. And it feels more important than an email. These efforts show your donor that their initial gift is noted and appreciated. They can also allow the donor a chance to get to know your organization better.

Check in again with your donor after one month. Do this whether they have made another contribution or not. Send another heartfelt thank you message as a reminder of your gratitude. If the contributor has made another donation, be sure to send more than just a receipt for their donation. Personalize the message with the donor's name and the amount received. Be sincere in your tone and gratitude.

Use Images to Inspire

In the second and third months after the first donation, your nonprofit should show what a contributor's gift can do. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Sending a newsletter with photos that show how your group uses donations illustrates how the donor has made a difference. It also shows that your organization is true to its word. This helps build trust and deepens your relationship.

After 90 days, continue to send monthly newsletters and updates to keep in contact with your contributors. But also look for other opportunities to show that you remember and appreciate them. Offer a reminder that donations still make a difference. You can do this by sending a personalized invitation to an upcoming event you're hosting. Or by offering a tour of your facility. You could request they volunteer in a small capacity, like helping at the office. Or challenge donors to invite friends to join your cause. It is the effort of nurturing the relationship that is most important at this time. This shows donors that you need them and value them.

What Tools do You Need?

Your organization needs people possessing desired traits and effective strategies. But organizations also need certain tools to ensure that donors contribute to their causes again. Today, it's not enough to have an email address and a website. Your establishment needs resources and applications that make donating easy.

This begins with a giving app. Every modern nonprofit needs one. Most organizations want an app that is simple to use and easy to access on a mobile device. In a busy world, your contributors want to be able to donate on the go. They want the option to set up recurring donations without having to reenter all of the same data already provided. Donors also want to know that the information they enter is safe. A giving platform like Givelify offers all of this and more.

Givelify offers analytic features that collect and sort useful contributor information. This data can be used to learn about donation patterns. It can show how often contributors donate and shed light on what motivates donors to give. The data can indicate areas where more donors are located. And it can highlight what concepts are most important to those contributors. Givelify's analytic features are easy to access. The data is simple to understand and valuable to have.

Create Continued Engagement

The relationship with your donors doesn't have to fade when the honeymoon ends. Your organization just needs to understand what strategies are needed in a donation campaign. Then you can find the individuals with the skills needed to make that campaign take off. With the right strategies and the ideal team in place, all you need are the right tools to support your campaign. Sign up for Givelify to receive those tools and be set up for mobile donations in under 5 minutes.

About the Author

Giving Illustration

Luis Orozco is a contributing writer. His passions and expertise are nonprofit fundraising and development. He uses Givelify to support his local church and the social justice causes.

Luis Orozco