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Four Tips to Build Strong Connections with Donors

Kristin Hammett

Kristin Hammett

January 13, 2023

As a donor, I have learned firsthand the value of donor connection. When a nonprofit that my husband and I invest in calls, connects for coffee, or drops us a note, we feel connected and appreciated. And when we do not feel connected or valued, we have sometimes changed our giving decisions because of it.

According to recent research commissioned by RKD Group, we are not alone. RKD took a close look at what contributes to the long-lasting commitment of a donor to an organization. The number one factor? Whether the donor feels valued, important, and connected to the work.

Here are four tips to equip you to strengthen your connection with your donors.

1. Connect personally.

This cannot be overstated. Human connection is important. Thank a donor by sending a personal email, text, or handwritten note. This is more than sending a letter of acknowledgement for their donation: Call them, leave a voicemail, or visit for coffee or lunch to show your appreciation. Understand their connection to the work you do. Always thank the donor for their partnership.

2. Give context.

We live in an ever-changing world. Social, political, cultural, and economic factors impact people, organizations, and causes differently. Connect the dots for donors.

What is happening in your cause area? Is the economy, political dynamic, or another cultural influence impacting the demand, cost, efficiency, or effectiveness of your work? How is the current cultural climate affecting your nonprofit specifically?

3. Expand capacity.

We are amidst the largest wealth transfer in history. According to Bank of America, more than $80 trillion will pass from older to younger generations over the next twenty years. This liquidation has great potential for generosity.

The Signatry’s specialty is helping families navigate this key time to mitigate tax burden and maximize generosity. We can help nonprofits share creative giving opportunities effectively with donors. Show your donors you care by helping them understand the best giving solutions for their families.

4. Communicate clearly.

Make the case for support. Take a look at this 2-minute video on communicating effectively with donors. Clear communication will help your donors feel valued and appreciated. They want to understand the problem, your vision for a solution, your impact, and the action needed moving forward.

This year, seek to show your donors you value them. Build a strong connection and give them context. Help them give more and pay less tax. And communicate clearly.

“People who add value to others do so intentionally… to add value, leaders must give of themselves, and that rarely occurs by accident.” John Maxwell

Empower your Donors with New Opportunities to Give

90% of the average American’s wealth is in assets other than cash. Only 10% of our wealth is in the checkbook. Yet most donations are made in cash. Help donors think differently about how they give and provide ways to be generous through their non-cash assets.

Find Out More

About Kristin Hammett

Kristin Hammett

As the Director of Nonprofit Success at The Signatry, Kristin Hammett works to train, consult, and equip nonprofits with fundraising solutions to connect God’s resources with His work

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