How to Maintain Relationships with Donors Using Social Media


You know and understand how important your donors are to your nonprofit.  Do they know?  Many nonprofits get so busy with other things, and they don’t adequately maintain relationships with donors.  Many donors that feel unappreciated quickly become one-time supporters. Getting donors is an incredible thing. That’s not only an indication that they support your cause, but they’ve identified you as the organization that can effectively use their money to make a change in the world.

It can be mutually beneficial to both your nonprofit and your donors to establish a meaningful, long-term relationship.

Your nonprofit benefits in that you can develop not only financial backing but also a source of steady, passionate support for your cause.  And your donors benefit by having an opportunity to help promote a cause they believe in with an organization they value and trust.

Social media is a key factor in reaching and engaging your donors. It’s an important tool that can help your organization get involved in their daily conversations. Each positive and unique interaction you have with your donors can leave them feeling more connected to your organization.

Why Generation Connected is important

Every one of the five distinct generations of donors nonprofits works with falls into Gen C. All of them use social media. Some a lot more than you might think.

In fact, 65% of adults now use social networking sites—a nearly tenfold jump in the past decade.

Over the last decade, the amount of time people spend on the internet has quadrupled. The average person worldwide has five social media accounts and spends an average of 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day.

I could go on and on with data like this, but the point is that the web-enabled media train has left the station.

Develop an individualized gratitude system

Special recognition is always important, whether you are dealing with an individual, a corporation, or a foundation. The internet has made instant gratification and easy thing allowing for Nonprofits to say their thank-yous faster than usual.

You can use the internet to show your appreciation publicly in a variety of ways, including:

  • Tweet your appreciation and mention an individual donor by using their Twitter handle (including the @ before their name so they’ll be notified)
  • Mention individual donors on Facebook by name (again using the @ symbol to link to their account)
  • Put the names of individual donors in your email newsletter
  • List donors by name on your blog
  • Create a page on your website that lists donors that support your nonprofit

It’s amazing how these fairly simple gestures can go a long way in developing long-term relationships with your donors.  Showing people how much you appreciate them individually can greatly bolster the affinity they feel towards supporting your organization and your cause.

Give Updates on How Donations Are Used

Donors want to know where their money is going.  You can (and should) share this information in a variety of ways to reach as many donors as possible.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Put specifics as to how donations are being spent in an email blast
  • Post donation details on Facebook and Twitter
  • Update relevant information on your website
  • Post on your blog
  • Send a personalized email directly from a staff member saying what a donation has enabled your organization to do

The key here is to get specific.  Make sure donors know the impact a specific amount of money can have in your community.

Sharing specifics can be hugely beneficial to your nonprofit as you strive to develop relationships with your donors.

Ask Your Donors Questions

Your donors are presumably passionate about your cause and likely have ideas that could be beneficial to your nonprofit.  Use this to your advantage by soliciting their feedback.  Ask for input on upcoming events or opportunities donors may be interested in. Have platforms where you raise questions.

Asking questions of donors is well suited for social media since it’s entirely up to your followers to decide if they’d like to respond with feedback.  Social media can also be less invasive than sending an email.  Some donors will value the opportunity to give their feedback.  Your willingness to reach out and implement suggestions can help to make donors feel more connected to your organization on an ongoing basis.

Share Videos of the Impact

Put in a little time, edit the video a bit, and share it on YouTube.  Link to it all over the place.  Send it out to your donors specifically.  You need to share the impact donors are having in the most compelling way you can.  It’s not only what many of your donors want, but it’s also what they deserve for supporting you and your cause.



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