I was recently asked the question – Do you have any tips for world-class donor communications?
Happy to answer that one, because communications are so important and a lot of what I see – as a board member and a donor – is downright awful. Here’s a top ten list for effective donor messaging. First and foremost: Know your audience!
Top Ten Tips for Effective Donor Messaging
- Know your audience – What do they care about, what motivates them?
- Be clear on your objectives – What is the desired outcome of the communication?
- Use their language – Talk numbers with an MBA, vernal pools with a conservationist.
- Tie into your mission – Focus on the cause, not the institution.
- Shorter is better – Don’t drown them in details and pages.
- Appeal to the heart and the head – They are people, after all.
- Keep it simple – Rogers and Hammerstein is easier to sing than Andrew Lloyd Weber.
- Be consistent – Make sure everyone is telling the same story.
- Show and tell how you help – Pictures, stories, testimonials from beneficiaries.
- Differentiate yourself – Donors get information and appeals from lots of organizations.