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Heidi Bucheister 3 min read

The More You Know, the More You Raise.

Knowing your donor means knowing what they want from your organization and letting them get to know you.  A variety of strategies are being used to accomplish these goals. Allowing for donors to have online personal profiles kills two birds with one stone (suggested by Sheeraz Haji in his article, They're Doing What?).

Not only can they update their own contact information, but it is also an open outlet on which they can submit information about themselves. The information collected could give great assistance towards understanding who your donors are and what they are interested in.

Follow up is also vital! If a donor is contacted via online or offline means, follow ups can lead to feelings of individual importance and potentially an increase in their donations. The more you communicate with donors, the more trust and mutual understanding there is between the two parties.

As you might know, blogging is becoming more and more popular among organizations.  When it comes to donor relations, blogging allows for a type of transparency that has not really been seen before in the nonprofit world.  In the past, the possiblity of dialogue between nonprofits and donors did not exist in such a simple public forum. As donors learn more about your organizaion, they tend to become increasingly comfortable disclosing information about themselves and they develop a greater sense of trust with your organization.

Focus on families rather than individuals.  Create programs which cater to their interests.  As the center of a parent's life, it is important that children learn about the world of charity and being involved. Not only does this further engage the donor, but it also provides a solid foundation for the next generation donor. Children often enjoy continuing their parents' legacy and supporting the charities that they grew up knowing.  For more information on engaging families see Kristin McCurry's article.