How often are you updating your donors on the progress of your ministry?
Statistics tell us the main reason donors stop giving to a ministry is that they have no idea how their funds are used. This means putting together a communication plan that schedules donor asks AND schedules ministry updates, is very important. The added benefit of updating your donors is that it not only keeps them excited about what you are accomplishing; it also holds the ministry accountable to tracking progress made toward its vision.
3 Ways to Update Donors
Let’s take a few moments and discuss three ideas you can use to start making your own plan to update your donors and prospects:
1. Start a blog
I am a development consultant. Therefore, I am an expert in helping organizations raise more money. Every month I post a blog or two to help ministries, like yours, become better at fundraising. Maybe it’s time for you to display your ministry expertise.
As a director of your ministry, you should be an expert in the area where you serve. Whether you lead a Gospel Rescue Mission, Christian radio station, school or university—write a blog to your donors and prospects each month. In the blog talk about the challenges and accomplishments of your ministry.
Teach people about your field. And if you don’t know as much about your field as you need to, start learning. This is a great opportunity to pull the lens back to what you do and why you do what you do. Take your donors and potential donors into your world.
They invest because they care, they want to know. You will find that the discipline of writing the blog will also get you noticed by more possible prospects. It will also help you stay at the top of your field, making you more of a professional and expert when you meet with donors and prospects.
2. Build a Complete Communication Plan
When you begin making your donor communication plan remember it should answer these three questions:
- When are we going to ask for funds, deliver direct mail, etc.?
- When and how are we going to report on the progress of our ministry’s vision?
- How and in what ways are we going to say thank you?
3. What Communication Medias Will We Use
There are so many ways to communicate—social media, blogs, emails, newsletters and the list goes on. It is important to decide what you will use and how often.
There are many different opinions on using communication media. Let me offer you one very important piece of advice before moving forward. Crawl and do it very well. Walk and do it very well. Then run and do it very well. What do I mean?
Crawl, Walk, Run to Keep Donors
Most organizations think they have to do it all. Please don’t! Pick just one or two communication avenues and do those very well. Then add to it. The key is not to do everything. Instead, do the most important things very well and consistently.
When you build your donor communication plans around these three areas, you will grow your ministry. Remember, updating your donors on progress is as important as asking for their contribution. So, make sure you devote the planning time to this as well. One without the other is going to give you a short-term donor and an ineffective cycle.
If you add updating as a priority with asking, you will also build relationships and create trust. This will give your ministry momentum that will fuel the creativity and passion you need to keep doing the good work God called to do.
Bottom line: Updating creates long-term donors! So make your plan, and get started! Need help crafting an effective Donor Communications Plan? Just request your free consultation.