In previous blogs we’ve spoken about reaching out to donors and how many times and how often you should contact them. However, it’s important to think about ways to keep in touch. With so many communications options available to your organization, start thinking about moving beyond mailed letters or even emails into different ways to reach out.
One of the important things to keep in mind is that with today’s busy lifestyles, it’s vital to meet your donors where they are. This may mean moving to virtual communication or even using letters (or cards/postcards) sent through the mail for a special touch. Though social media outreach can have pitfalls and requires tending, it is a viable way to communicate with potential donors as well as your existing ones and with the ability for people to share your posts, they can go quickly viral and bring new people to your cause as well.
Let’s just take a look at the various ways that there are to reach out to donors.
Physical letters and newsletters
Letters and newsletters sent through the mail have the benefit of being seen, where emails can go astray as mail clients filter them. However, paper, envelopes and postage all cost money and the return on your investment may be difficult to gauge.
Email letters and newsletters
It’s cheaper to send email; however, it’s also easier for emails to be labeled as spam or promotional emails by mail clients and not be seen. In addition, it may be easier for people to ignore emails since they’re not a tangible thing. Organizations can see real results from sending emails and they are cost effective.
The real downside to social media is that depending on the platform your organization’s messages are seen by whoever the platform wants them to be seen by. For example, if your organization has 10,000 or even 100,000 followers, only a fraction of those will actually see the message in their newsfeed. The flipside to this is that if you have people following your organization who are passionate about your purpose, they can share your message to their followers, which will boost your organization’s reach far beyond what you could do with a letter.
SMS or Text Messages
Finally, you can reach out to your donors through SMS or Text messages. While it’s important, just like other forms of digital communication, to obtain your donors’ and/or prospects’ permission, this can be a vital way to inform them of urgent fundraising needs.
When you vary the ways you reach out to donors, you’ll have a better chance at catching them when they are available to see and respond to your message. This will bring a better response and hopefully allow you to engage your donors more often and more consistently.