Cultivating Relationships to Make Lifelong Supporters

Building strong and long-lasting relationships is crucial to the success of your fundraising efforts. Here are some helpful hints to help you retain supporters whilst continuing to add more and more prospects into the mix.   

1. Charities that know how to communicate 

Communication is the lifeblood of any good charity. Make contact frequently throughout the year, not just when asking for donations. Your supporters want to know about your mission, projects and goals. To keep them coming back year after year it's imperative to keep them updated and involved.   

2. Connecting with your fundraising supporters 

Know your audience and how to contact them. Connect with current supporters and grow your network quickly using social media channels and email marketing as well as more traditional communication methods such as phone and snail mail.   

3. Listen and learn 

Effective communication is the glue that helps you deepen relationships with your audience. By simply listening and learning you will be able to connect with them in a more authentic, meaningful way. Social media is a great tool for asking questions and receiving feedback. You can even start discussions to find out what your supporters are interested in, how they think you could improve or even what items they would like to see you in your next auction. Take this a step further and you might be pleasantly surprised by the response you receive. Whether it's a quick phone call or a short survey sent out via email your supporters will appreciate the opportunity to be heard, make valuable suggestions and reflect on their experiences.   

4. Smoothly run fundraising events retain supporters 

Electronic auctions aren't just about increasing revenue but also decreasing time consuming and frustrating processes to make your event more enjoyable for both your guests and your own event staff. Electronic auctions allow you to automatically invoice all winners and donors and provide a link for them to click and make payment to you straight from their mobile phone. There is also an electronic checkout option to facilitate manual payment to make sure you have a streamlined payment desk and reconciliation process the following week. Staff can also use iPads to take payment from guests, which again helps speed up the payment process, allowing you to take payment from guests at their tables.   

5. Thank your supporters 

Recognising and appreciating your supporters is vital when maintaining long-lasting relationships. You can do this by writing thank you notes, emails or even text messages. A post on facebook or a tweet is a simple way to show appreciation and gratitude towards your supporters.   

6. Categorise your texts 

After holding your fundraising event, GalaBid's auction software package allows you to quickly and effortlessly send out a post-event thank you text. You can even customise your correspondence based on particular criteria.   

7. Share your success and achievements 

Post-event be sure to announce how much money was raised and how the funds will be used. It's great to post photos, share testimonials or even put together a video of the night. But why wait until after the event to share your success and thank supporters? Many fundraisers find it beneficial to keep their audience engaged at live events by using leaderboards and digital displays to showcase the highest bidder and leading bidder amount. Displays can also be employed to thank donors and show funds raised so far.

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GalaBid is CrowdComms’ fundraising software, developed inhouse, which facilitates bidding, donations, purchases, payment for and management of all fundraising activities before and during live fundraising events, galas, golf days etc.