You spend so much time and effort getting your organizations name out there. You champion your cause like a prizefighter, you stir hearts, move hands, and win people over to your cause in a time when there is so much need and so little to go around. You finally secure that donation and what does your donor see?
"Thank you for your donation!”
You're just going to leave them hanging like that?
Good donor relationships are something worth fighting for and worth grooming. When somebody donates to your organization and helps you achieve your goals, that shouldn't be the end of the line, that should be only the beginning. Smart organizations know that the perfect time to build rapport, trust, and credibility with donors is right at the crucial moment when they've just made a donation, and that's just the first step towards establishing an ongoing line of communication.
"What to do next”
I cringe every time I see an NPO that wraps up the donation process with a sterile, flat, "thank you” message. How anti-climatic, how boring. When you've moved somebody to the point where they are willing to put their money where their heart is and donate they want to feel like they've done the right thing, acknowledge that!
Build a landing page for new donors that congratulates them on their choice to get involved. Validate that impulse. Let them know how else they can help. This doesn't mean "hit them up for another donation” this means providing resources, showing them where they can go for more information, or how to get involved at a local level. Showing them a path to do more.
When someone makes the decision to put their hard-earned dollars down for your cause for the very first time, that is the most energized and excited about your organization they will ever be. Harness that energy. Encourage them to share their excitement with their friends and family on social media! If you need volunteers for an event, this would be a good time to ask! Take a one-time donor and convince them become a regular donor down the road.
Keep in touch
This should be obvious, but many NPOs don't take full advantage of how easy it is to communicate with donors. Asking donors if they would like to be added to a newsletter and receive periodic updates from your organization should be part of your donation process. Unlike other sites that would be summarily denied the privilege, people donating to your organization will more than likely be interested in what you have to say. Of course, you need to honour their wishes if they decline. Never send out promotional material or updates to someone who has explicitly said they're not interested. That's a great way to tick people off and run afoul of Canadian anti-spam law (CASL).
While asking donors if they would like to keep in touch, make sure to ask how they'd like to keep in touch as well. Some people prefer to receive materials the old fashion way through the mail while others (particularly those who are environmentally conscious) would rather just get them in through email. Either way, you need to make sure you're communications strategy can accommodate both options. Have a print and digital strategy at the ready so you can be consistent with your messaging no matter what medium your donors prefer.
Schedule regular updates that show what your organization has accomplished. Show people the good work their donations have helped make possible. People crave follow-through and transparency. When they see that you're making good on your goals and their donations are having real impact, they'll want to help more.
Successfully convincing someone to contribute shouldn't be the end of your online strategy, it should be just the beginning.