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19 Ways to Make Your Donor Experience Better in 2019

Paved highway with '2019' in white paint pointing toward the sunset

People are always asking, where do I start? My reply is simple, start with the basics. Do the little things that add up to meaningful experiences for your donors. Then once you’ve perfected a few great things, build from there. SO here are 19 simple things to do in 2019 to enhance the donor experience at your organization. What would you add?



  1. Revamp your tax receipts and pledge reminders

  2. Master the art of writing really great acknowledgements

  3. Create gift agreements that work for you and your donors

  4. Craft or review your organization's naming policy

  5. Pay attention to your special donor populations

  6. Use personalized videos to thank your donors. (We LOVE ThankView for this!)

  7. Make sending 5 handwritten thank you notes part of your weekly routine.

  8. Have your board members spend the first 10 minutes of every meeting writing thank you notes to donors.

  9. Include thoughtful, realistic target ask amounts on your online giving site - bonus points if you can tie them to you mission

  10. Look at your online gift acknowledgment. Is it just a receipt or does it express genuine gratitude? If it's the former, fix it!

  11. Give to other organizations online. Document your experience and learn from it.

  12. Give to your organization online. Even better, ask a friend or family member to do it (they can even use your credit card) and have them share their experience with you. Bonus points if you have them make a gift via mobile as well.

  13. Remove "thasks" from ALL of your communications. A thank you is a thank you. An ask is an ask. Never the twain shall meet!

  14. Make your online giving button something that inspires. Instead of "Make a Gift" try something like "Change a Life" or "Keep the Fight Going"

  15. Create a naming policy - or revisit your existing one - to ensure it includes details like what can be said on plaques, when namings are celebrated, how much they cost, and a morality clause

  16. Diversify your acknowledgements - make sure donors get different thank you messages if they give more than once!

  17. Get your impact reporting in order. Make sure that all of your donors know that their gift has a direct impact on your organization

  18. At one end of the spectrum are your very top donors, design bespoke engagement plans for them with surprise and delight moments throughout!

  19. Finally, measure twice, cut once! Incorporate metrics in everything you do. Determine the ROI of your efforts in dollars and donors and you will be able to make more strategic decisions in the future.

Now you know what to do to get started, but if you need help with how, many of these topics will be covered in our 2019 webinars. Sign up for our 2019 annual subscription and you'll receive all 12 of this year's webinars, designed as a complete track to help you transform your donor relations program!


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