Donors are a lot like Teddy Bears.  They’ll give and give again if you simply treat them right.

If you ever had a Teddy Bear as a child (hmm, and maybe you even collect them as a grown-up), you know how special they are.

Special just like your donors.  Always there for you.  Teddy Bears give you kindness, love, and hugs whenever called upon.

But discard Teddy in a dusty closet . . . never show him any kindness or gratitude for all he’s done for you . . . and you end up getting ZIP

As I said before; donors are the same way.  This cartoon illustrates what I mean.

 Teddy Bears & Donors are alike - 1

Teddy Bears & Donors are alike - 2

 Donors do not want to be thought of as merely a source of money.   When you treat them like that they give ZIP in return just like Teddy Bears.  Also realize that if you even think of them that way it comes through in your copy.

They’re individuals who want to feel appreciated and important.  They must KNOW that THEY are helping to make a difference.  Show them how their gifts help a single child, a single family, save a bird, or whatever your mission is … put it on a scale they can relate to.  Put it on a scale where they can see the impact of their gift.

And again, give them the information they want.  Put donors in the spotlight and your charity in the background. 

Oh … and as always be sure to thank them FAST every time they do something for you (and even when they don’t).

By the way, did you notice how the gray Teddy Bear is looking to his friend for a recommendation BEFORE he decides to give?  This highlights another reason to treat donors right: Happy emotionally connected donors act as brand evangelists and promote your nonprofit to their network (link to 9-6-11 post with stats on this behavior).

Finally, make certain you send out a nice portion of PURE cultivation messages.  In other words, don’t ask for a donation in every single direct mail package, every single email, every single video, every single text message, or every single social media update. 

Treat your donors right and they’ll give you lots of love and kindness in return – just like a Teddy Bear – in the form of repeat gifts, loyalty, volunteering for events, recommending you to their friends, and other forms of support.

More related posts:

Whether acquisition, renewal, or cultivation be sure to shine the light on your readers … Holy Acquisition Batman

How to get the first gift and then the second … Giving Once. Giving Twice. SOLD! To the charity with the right message.