In our increasingly fast-paced, high-demand culture, ministries find it more necessary and critical than ever to make as many connection points as possible with donors. This development should not be focused merely on stewarding financial resources – it is also a way to steward and build genuine relationships. Here are a few key ideas to keep in mind for your supporter engagement plan!
- Be Human: The more personal touch you can give to your donor correspondence, the better!
- Commit to calling faithful supporters to see how they are doing and deliver a personal thank you. They will appreciate the time you took to recognize them.
- Emails are still an important tool for donor relations. These shouldn’t be long-winded but could include links to your website or blog for those interested in more information about a topic.
- Don’t forget another key ingredient: in-person meetings. Whether it’s over dinner or coffee, or maybe in your office or at their home, individualized meetings are a great way to build or strengthen rapport with a supporter.
- Be Digital: Social media platforms continue to play a major role in how ministries can share brief updates and photos.
Don’t feel like you have the manpower to keep a steady presence across multiple platforms? Start with one or two key platforms. We suggest using Facebook and Twitter or Instagram. Consider having a well-supervised volunteer or intern, skilled in social media, help with the drafting of posts. Make sure to respond when people interact with your posts—that can go a long way in helping them feel engaged.
- Be Reachable: Think of events or services that are relevant to your area of ministry.
Welcome donors, volunteers, and prayer supporters to an office open house. Create a group on Facebook specifically for those in your geographic area, and use it to share about volunteer opportunities at the office or special prayer requests. Make people feel that they are an integral part of your ministry, and they will hopefully continue investing with you for the long haul!
These ideas do take time and effort, but with a committed team of staff and volunteers, they are possible! Lord willing, practicing these suggestions—or other ideas that work better in your unique context—will assist in developing a broader and deeper foundation of supporters. We hope this gives you some inspiration about how you can build a stronger network with those who help make your work possible!