Part 3: Speaking Your Donors’ Love Language
Now that we’ve covered Pillar:1 Acknowledgment and Pillar 2: Affirmation, it’s time to discuss two additional ways you can show your donors love.
Pillar 3: Appreciation
(Callout: Appreciation means you acknowledge and recognize the value/worth or something or the amount of work/effort someone has expended.)
Actions speak louder than words. Take special steps to ensure your donor knows she’s not taken for granted and that her efforts and partnership are celebrated. Honor her by introducing her to others in your community of supporters, further strengthening her bond with your organization.
Pillar 4: Aspiration
(Callout: Aspiration means the hope of ambition of achieving something. One of the key findings in Ric Lipman’s Salvation Army research.)
Your donor desires to make a difference… to do something meaningful with her life. “Aspiration” is perhaps the most important of the four pillars because it is through these touchpoints that you can help your donor achieve the transformational experience.
Provide opportunities to do something meaningful… then affirm her efforts had impact.
As the donor feels the joy of fulfilling her goals and dreams (and in many cases, her calling) your organization will be transformed as well… transforming the lives of others.
Important considerations when building your 4-Pillar Plan
While all of us share the same needs, they manifest in different ways.Knowing your donors also means knowing their preferences. While some may enjoy public recognition, others are uncomfortable in the limelight and prefer to offer their support anonymously, from behind the scenes. While some may be encouraged by personal cards and gifts, others may prefer you spare the expense — using the funds more directly for the mission — and communicate your appreciation with a call.
However you build your 4-Pillar Plan, allow flexibility to customize for your donors. Otherwise, your efforts will be wasted or even worse, detrimental.
And remember, your donors are equal partners in this change from a transactional to transformational experience. Because they’re not used to being the center of your attention, they may need time to adapt as well. Consider how your plan for current givers might differ from the process for those new to the file.
By adopting a culture of transformational giving — and cultivating donors with Intentional Attention — you will not only increase ROI and donor retention rates, but you will also deepen your community of supporters, increase your (volunteer base and move more donors to legacy giving, advancing your vision and mission.
Now let’s get started… love will find a way.