Are Your Relationships Genuine?

Your donors are awesome, wouldn’t you agree?

friday-post-cardWithout them you wouldn’t be able to provide your high quality programs.  Shouldn’t you let them know how much you appreciate them?

Sure, you stay in contact by sending your newsletter and direct mail. These keep your donors updated on the things you are doing on their behalf. And if you’re tracking response rates, you can evaluate your campaigns and modify them as required. This greatly benefits your organization. But is this enough?

Your relationships with your donors are like any other relationships in the sense that they need to know you appreciate and value them. Healthy relationships have mutual trust, respect, encouragement and each individual wants the other to flourish.

So what else can you do? Why not pick a day of the week where you focus on those who support you? How about Friday – wouldn’t that be a great way to end the week?

The following list of ideas are merely suggestions and need to reflect your own personal touch.

  • send a handwritten note just to touch base. Tell them they’ve been on your mind.
  • send an article of interest to your donor with a post-it note saying the article made you think of them.
  • pick up the phone and say thank you and follow-up with any previous discussions you’ve had. Don’t ask for anything.
  • call and set a date to take them to lunch and catch them up with how their support is making a difference.
  • send or deliver a small gift; home-baked cookies, for example.
  • send a personal email and attach a video of a client saying thank you for the support they are receiving in the donor’s area of interest.
  • send a photo taken of your donor at the last event they attended and include bits of the conversation you had with them.
  • When they send an email, contact you through social media, or leave a message for you, get back to them promptly.
  • Brag about them on your website and through your social media accounts.

It is important to express gratitude and appreciation in every relationship you have. Remember to be genuine – trust me, people can tell when you’re not. What have you done lately that has strengthened your relationships?

The purpose of this blog is to facilitate discussions that will help us all to better engage with our communities. Your participation and feedback are most welcomed and valued. Please join the discussion below.



  1. Cranston Holden

    This is such a good idea. Many times if we will just carve out a couple minutes out of our day and dedicate them to another person, we can give them a gift that they will value forever. And all the gift is, is a message that says “I care”. Have a tremendous day.

  2. Jean

    I’m not sure how often people deal with anonymous donors….but most interestingly in the baby years of the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition they would receive an anonymous donation (only a few thousand dollars) annually which was appreciated at the time. They were completely volunteer at that time. So tough to understand why some people want to be completely anonymous. And it’s only cycling!

    • The Other Bottom Line

      In fundraising we talk a lot about building relationships. Sometimes that means respecting someone’s desire to be anonymous. I know a few people who don’t ever want their ‘left hand to know what their right hand is doing..’

  3. Professions for PEACE

    Wow! Incredible tips Diana, and so wise. A hand-written note? SO simple yet it would melt my heart to get one from any of the organizations my family donates to annually. It would help cement them on our list, you know? Building relationships is important in every area of life but sadly too often overlooked by the organizations who need the most help. Keep up the awesome work here. You are making a difference! ~Gina

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