SEO can be thought of as having two crucial sides: pulling in new clientele and keeping them. When it comes to non-profits we find that they are met with unique challenges in terms of keeping clientele.
Often times since an NGO doesn’t have a physical product and because certain causes can take years of effort before seeing progress, owners end up neglecting their very important donors in an effort to focus solely on generating new clientele. Not only is this a poor response to those who would put a stake in someone’s business, but it’s also a bad business strategy.
Cultivating those relationships that already exist presents vast networking opportunities and ensure that donors will stay on and help keep the non-profit’s vision alive. Consider these different ways in which you might give a little back to your donors and show your appreciation.
- In Person:
Face-to-face time is crucial to any business. It allows donors and customers alike to meet with the person behind the product or non-profit and learn about their vision from the source. A personal touch is also the most effective way to get your appreciation across. Events give donors the chance to party it up a little and get drowned in thanks, but also allow for raffles to bring in more revenue. Sadly, given the sheer number of donors this can sometimes become costly and difficult to organize. In those cases, tours of facilities or opportunities to meet the subject of their donating can prove to be great incentives.
- Snail Mail:
The long lost tradition of receiving mail by post, as opposed to electronic delivery, is a great way to go above the simple email of thanks. Hand written notes connect a very human presence to the organization, while packages or baskets can be extended as a more heartfelt sign of appreciation. Both options allow an NGO to demonstrate the human nature of their company and connect with their donors on a personal level.
Let me be clear: the first two options are things that NGOs typically must grow into. To some extent they are an “as-funding-allows” method of rewarding donors. However, the following methods are usually cost-free and should always be employed, without question.
Ensure that all donors are advertised on your website. This might mean advertising their individual businesses or creating “Donor of the Month” -like postings. Don’t be afraid to post public shout-outs for new donors or special donor anniversaries. Social media accounts should also reflect the same content and can be used as platforms for uploading video content. Video “thank you’s” are handwritten letter online equivalent; they allow for donors to see faces and connect a person to the business. Take the time to go above and beyond for your donors.
BONUS: As per all good customer service practices try to remember anniversaries and reward members by calling on special days to wish them well. Also remember that complaints should be resolved personally and swiftly. Consider donor complaints opportunities to demonstrate your willingness to go above and beyond. Treat each complaint seriously or they will turn sour.