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#116: 2021 Advice from the ‘Nonprofit Nerd’

communication strategy donor retention marketer on a mission podcast Jan 23, 2021

Jarrett Ransom, the self-described “Nonprofit Nerd” talks with Cindy about strategies to build your relationships with your donors. Concentrating on “Return on Relationship” instead of “Return on Investment” will get you much farther in your retention efforts.

But what are the building blocks you can use to create these better relationships with the people who are key to supporting your organization?

Jarrett says these five steps have served her well throughout her career in nonprofits:

  1. Get to know your audience and understand their main concerns. Get beyond the data fields in your database. 
  2. Customize your language - getting the right message to the right audiences using donor avatars.
  3. Take advantage of anniversary dates as an opportunity to reach out. 
  4. Create virtual “meet-ups” so your donors can get to know your staff and board - and vice versa. (Also a great way to keep volunteers in touch during the pandemic.)
  5. Pick up the phone and have a conversation.

Regardless of how you go about building those relationships, remember it isn’t always about setting up the next donation; it’s about creating the connection, particularly during a time as tumultuous as the past year.

“If you can focus on your return on relationship, you’ll retain these people as donors,” said Jarrett, adding that they’ll remember the time you took to get to know them better and reward that in the future. 

To learn more about Jarrett and her company, visit therayvangroup.com.

Here on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NonprofitNerd

On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nonprofit_nerd/

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