Relationship Marketing Strategies for Your Nonprofit

January 24, 2016
5 minutes

Relationships are at the core of any nonprofit’s success. Building a long-lasting relationship with your donors, volunteers, and stakeholders is one of the most important things to do if you are a nonprofit. Keeping your donors close will help your organization accomplish its mission and push forward its business activities. This is where relationship marketing becomes a strategy. 

If your relationship marketing is on point, you not only satisfy your donors but also succeed in retaining them. Hence, you need to understand the gravity of a successful relationship marketing strategy. 

An effective relationship marketing campaign lies in a nonprofit’s ability to persuade donors to believe that their cause is worth their time and money. If you want corporate sponsors and volunteers to listen to you, make sure you build an emotional connection between your nonprofit’s cause and them. Given the increasing number of nonprofits in the U.S., it’s important that you sell your cause in a way that attracts potential donors in this competitive market. 

If you are not acquiring new donors or are failing to engage with the existing ones, you can try these simple yet effective ways mentioned below to revamp your relationship marketing strategies:

Let Your Social Media Posts Do the Talking

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have allowed people to engage on different levels—professional, cultural, and social. Building a strong social media presence helps nonprofits reach potential donors and supporters. 

You can create Facebook pages to call volunteers to your campaigns, send notifications to your Twitter followers, or post photos of recent events on Instagram. Doing so will keep your stakeholders updated on your recent activities. You can also ask for suggestions or feedback through your posts. Social media offers you a channel to connect with your supporters, who in turn can share your activities with their friends and followers. This will help you connect with new people, who might become your next donor.

Grow Your Network

Face-to-face meetings still supersede social media and online chats. Nonprofits can grow their network by meeting prospects in person. Attend events and promote your cause in person with potential donors and volunteers. This is one of the important steps of nonprofit relationship marketing. If donors don’t see you, they might not remember you. Meeting people in person and talking about how your cause impacts the society will help you create a rapport with them, which is essential. Adding a personal touch to your stories will make donors believe in your cause and might convert them into your next contributor. 

Also, nonprofits can join networking groups that allow members to share their ideas and learn about different topics in their areas of expertise. From such networking groups, you can collect information about donors, sponsorship opportunities, and interested volunteers for your upcoming events.

Create Personalized Content

Contributors feel more engaged when they are sent personalized information. When sharing content with donors, remember that personal touch makes a difference. If you send personalized content to your donors, they feel valued. Make sure you are aware of your donors’ full name, the organizations they work for, their interests, and your past communications with them. Knowing these will help you create content as per the donors’ needs. Also, be creative in sending out the messages.

Share Your Work Reports

Transparency is imperative between nonprofits and their donors.  A donor wants to know how their donation is put to use and how it impacts the community. Share your quarterly or annual work reports with your stakeholders. This will give them an assurance that their contributions are helping you achieve your goals and making a difference in the world. Along with the reports, you can also share other information and ask for help whenever necessary.

Encourage Word-of-Mouth. It Matters!

Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful relationship marketing strategies. If donors are satisfied and happy with your work, they can bring you dozens of new supporters by recommending your nonprofit to other potential stakeholders. You can ask your existing donors to promote your cause within their networks to attract new contributors. Also, you can ask your current volunteers to bring their friends and family members who are willing to lend a helping hand. More people means bigger impact.

Recognize Your Contributors

A major element of nonprofit relationship marketing is recognizing your contributors. Make sure you reward the efforts taken by your donors and volunteers. You can organize special events to recognize your donors, corporate sponsors, and enthusiastic volunteers. The token of appreciation can be given in various forms like awards or producing press releases on social media channels and your website. Expressing gratitude shows that you care about your contributors and consider them an integral part of your nonprofit’s mission.

Ensure Continuous Communication

Keep communicating with your contributors. Remind them about your upcoming events, fundraising campaigns, or other activities. If you stop communicating with them, they might lose interest in your nonprofit. Follow up with your existing and prospective contributors at regular intervals and make sure you maintain constant communication with them.

Final Thoughts

Relationship marketing encourages long-term engagement with your supporters. It is the ability to build strong connections with donors and volunteers by promoting your nonprofit’s cause.

You might be doing great work but if you can’t connect with your supporters on an emotional level, your mission might not reach the ears of many. Relationship marketing is important for your nonprofit’s success; make it a priority.

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