Once you’ve raised funds, the job's not done. Keeping funders engaged is key
Take notes about your funder during your courting days
When you close a deal with a donor, make a thousand notes on who these funders are, their personalities, their interest areas, and the things that stood out about your organization to them. Why make these notes? Because as weeks pass by, you will forget some of these micro-points that you can leverage to personalize your updates to them. You might be needed for another fundraising pitch, and you'll soon delegate "funder-engagement" to another associate in your team who will have zero contextual understanding of who these funders are. This is a long-drawn way of saying that you're going to lose all the advantage you picked up while building a relationship (during the courting phase) with the funder. You won't know how to personalize your updates for them. Eventually, you will find yourself sending generalised newsletters that they may never open.
Personalise your updates
Sending a templatised update in 2024 is NOT going work as well as it did five years ago. The volume of new organisations working in a similar topic area is increasing exponentially each year. This means, maintaining a genuine personalised connection with your funder must be your priority number one. Knowing their preferences will help you personalise your updates.
3 things to learn about them:
Their preferred medium of communication
Their preferred frequency of updates
The aspects of the work they are interested in (eg. reach, voices from end users, partners working with, growth and expansion)
You dont have to guess this, simply reach out them and ask!The more we invest in staying connected with them, the more they will feel interested in staying committed to us.
Mediums you can use for updates (aside from the expected funder reports):
Emails: You can send them an email every now and then updating them on specific things (make sure you customise your emails).
Messages: There may be times when you come across something (beyond your direct work) that actually made you think of a funder. Message them and let them know - its as authentic and genuine a touchpoint as it gets. Don’t worry about it being out of context or irrelevant.
Newsletter: Funders get hundreds of newsletters from orgs. So if you do like sending updates through newsletter templates like mailchimp, try to limit the content to 1 or 2 stories. No one has the time to read 6 paras of the different things your org is doing
Social Media: Whenever you are posting an update or story about a specific project/ intervention that is linked to a funder, you can tag them on the post so that it reaches their SM inboxes and they can view it. Its a smart and quick way to get their attention to your posts