Often donors support a charity because of a deeply personal relationship with him. Some may myself to receive support from a charity. Sometimes the good cause participating has provided invaluable assistance to a friend or family member.
Meanwhile, admiration for the charity’s mission or leader can be another strong draw – or perhaps the supporter was a long term volunteer for charity.
For the others, it is simply giving to a particular charity helps their emotional well-being and is a “major mood booster,” according to Charitable Aid Ffoundation. It found that a fifth of people gave to charity because it “made them feel good”.
Understanding the relationship between a charity and its donors is critical to fundraising so that they can nurture connectionis like these for many years.
This is especially important in 2023, as a Charity Cgap report last year highlighted the potential for charity supporters to switch allegiances between different ones charitable organisations. Based on focus group interviews, this research found that the public is willing to “support causes rather than charities per se”.
Regulator study found the people are less attached to charities and instead support good causes and want to ensure their donations make a difference. The research suggests that they could move to another charity with a similar mission if they feel their giving is not having the impact they had hoped for.
Here, we look at why nurturing donors’ personal connection to good causes can help make sure they are held by charities like long term supporters.
Understanding personal relationships
Research published by Sustainability Instituteble Philanthropy in 2022 highlights how understanding why donors support good causes and charities is critical to improving retention rates.
Theand report found that deepening the charity/donor relationship can “driving retention strategy as the focal link can be enhanced’.
This can be understood through more detailed studies, the report says. which specifically ask questions about donors’ personal connection to a charity and why they support its mission.
“Given the scale of the opportunity, it seems timely to look at what we know about the driving factors.” donor lyalty/retention“, the report says.
Nurturing personal connections
Once each donor’s personal connection is found, communication with them can be tailored to focus on it this relationship, whether as an endorser, beneficiary, or volunteer.
The Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy recommends that this communication be two-way, giving donors “a voice by sending a short message to the focus of their love” related to the charity they support.
This could be sending a message to a family member who is supported or even the charity chief executive if the donor especially admires them.
As part of its research, the Institute “asked people to send a message of support to the organization’s team“. Based on this successful relationship between them and their chosen charity, the research said that “we now I believe it would be smarter to allow donors to send a message to the specific stakeholder that is the target of their love”.
Benefits of understanding personal connections
Charities can benefit from maintaining personal connections in a few ways, mostly through price savings and make fundraising campaigns more effective, according to the Institute. Benefits include:
Reduction Acquisition costs
Acquisition costs are reduced as it is no longer necessary to replace so many lost ones donors as possible. Too often charities must invest in recruitment new donors when existing supporters are not retained.
Increase in average gift size
Happy and loyal donors are more likely to give larger gifts to a charity that understands and nurtures their personal connection to its mission. This, in turn, reduces the number of appeals needed to achieve targets.
The institute points to research that found when appeal targets are not met, charities tend to work harder campaigns. “While this may work in the short term, over-communication itself can cause further donor attrition,” he adds.
Increase the chance of a major gifts
The best time for charities to discuss major gifts with supporters is in the fifth or sixth year of their support. But if the donors do not stick around for this period because charity did not understand their personal connection with a good causethen that chance is lost.
Taking advantage of the increase in the charitable purpose of donors
Using personal feedback connections
Charities can use survey responses and other communication around personal connections to discover common themes. This can help make future fundraising campaigns more effective. For health charities, for example, this may be the case most donors survived a a particular challenge, such as cancer or a heart attack. For youth charities, it may be that many donors were helped when they were young.