If your nonprofit organization depends on donations, you know the importance of staying in touch with stakeholders on a regular basis. And while online reports and updates can be extremely helpful tools, direct mail continues to be an effective means of touching base with donors.
Increasing, nonprofits are using a combination of direct mail and online tools (Twitter, email, RSS feeds, etc.) to keep their relationship with supporters fresh and vibrant.
One reason connection is more important than ever is that today’s donors want to know where their money is going and how their contributions are making an impact.
Stories over data
To communicate that kind of information, you have to provide donors more than numeric or financial data. Saying you “reached 1,000 people last month,” may be true and really significant. But it’s probably not what your stakeholders are after. They want a different kind of information; they want stories. Donors want to hear about how the money they gave helped real people experience real change.
Don’t sensationalize or contrive tales to make a point. The last thing you want to do is manufacture a story to make your point. Guard your credibility and protect the dignity of those you’re trying to help.
Your stories don’t even have to be long. Sometimes a few sentences on a postcard can be enough to remind donors that they are making a real difference. You can always offer to tell them “the rest of the story” on your website. That strategy allows you to provide a lot more detail without the added expense of a larger mailing. It also provides donors a chance to easily give again with the click of a mouse.
You might use a postcard, newsletter, appeal letter, online newsletter, website pages, or a combination of all the above. The important thing is to keep telling the true stories of how your donors are impacting the lives of other people. Facts and statistics are fine, but it’s stories that truly resonate.