Authentic Communication with your Donors

INTRODUCTION

The nonprofit sector is in the business of people-helping-people. What better motivates people-helping-people than being authentic!?

This blog contains vital information about maintaining authentic communication with your donors. The 3 main takeaways are: Be true and consistent, attend to your donors, and create personal experiences. Adding personalized and specific details to your communication methods will make all the difference.

 

BE TRUE AND CONSISTENT

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All nonprofit organizations have a cause that they are passionate about. Before you communicate with your donors, you need to establish a set of values and beliefs that your organization follows. Make sure when you set up those values, you are being true to yourself and to your cause. To have authentic communication, you need to BE AUTHENTIC.

Once you identify your core principles, you must represent them in every message and any form of communication. You may not be popular with everyone, but at least you will be showing community members that you are true and consistent. The main point is to stick to your set of values and beliefs, but there are more Principles for Authentic Donor Communications that Build Relationships.

 

ATTEND TO YOUR DONORS

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Make sure to put effort into focusing on your donors. Remember, without your donors you can’t support your cause! Maintain relationships with donors by consistently communicating and creating opportunities to connect with them.

There are various ways to stay connected with your donors and maintain authentic communication. You can schedule regular meetings in person or virtually to provide the opportunity to interact with them. This is the time to have discussions about your organization’s progress and get the opinion of the members. You can ask questions like: Why are you passionate about the cause? What is your preferred method of communication? How would you like to take action?

You can also connect with your donors by sending them information via digital and physical communication methods.

 

WAYS TO CONNECT WITH YOUR DONORS

Social Media
Community Events
Newsletters
Impact Reports
Thank You Notes
Website Blog
Google Forms Questionnaire

 

The main focus should always be on your donors, so you can build authentic relationships.

 

CREATE PERSONAL EXPERIENCES

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To keep up with authentic communication, you can create personal experiences! How do you do that? Well, make sure to keep donor profiles and use their names when sending emails, newsletters, donation cards, impact reports, and postcards. It is also important to consistently send messages to donors and volunteers to let them know your organization is working hard for the cause.

A little bit of effort goes a long way, especially when you want to create personalized  experiences. Emails and text messages only go so far and are often overlooked, so it is important to seek other forms of communication. Sending handwritten note cards and direct-mail packages addressed to specific donors, tells your members that you value their support.

 

CONCLUSION

To summarize, figure out what your nonprofit is passionate about helping, stick to your values and beliefs, focus on including your donors, and organize personalized experiences that show your donors how much effort you put in.

BONUS TIP

Put the effort in and delight your donors with a handwritten note!

Want to level up your direct mail? Contact us.

Handwritten Notes for Realtors: How To Maximize Client Touchpoints

The real estate industry is a tough one, and the competition for clients can be fierce. But there are many ways to set yourself apart from competitors that don’t involve spending money on listings—and handwritten notes are a great way to do just that. Whether writing thank-you cards after an open house, after an initial meeting or a note after the house has been sold, adding a personal touch will help you stand out in a competitive market.

This article will look at five natural touchpoints that realtors can use to create a connection with clients, grow listings and cultivate referrals.

After attending an open house

After an open house, it’s important to follow up with potential buyers. While many agents are moving toward a digital approach (such as sending a text message), handwritten notes are still the most effective way to create a personal connection.  You can mention what they saw at the open house, including features of the house the prospective buyer noted to you. Write down or memorize all key details that you discussed to include them in your note later.

When you’re preparing for an open house, don’t forget to keep the neighbours in the loop! Sending personalized postcards alerts them of a potential buyer coming into their neighbourhood while keeping you top-of-mind if they’re looking to sell at some point.

After an initial meeting

To be a successful real estate agent, you need to make sure that a potential client remembers you and why they met with you as they shop for a realtor. It is important to send a note within 24 hours of an initial meeting to say thank you. You may also want to share any useful advice or information that was discussed during your meeting. This will show them that you’re attentive and interested in their business. If possible, offer a connection they may not have thought about or another way for them to contact you if they have additional questions or would like more information.

If there’s been no response from the first note, follow up again in two weeks. Your note can include something new or interesting related to the neighbourhood, the local real estate market or something else that may interest them.

When a house is sold

The purchase of a home is an exciting and rewarding event in most people’s lives. It can be made even more memorable when the realtor offers congratulations on their new property, which shows you care about them as both clients and humans.

This stage is a great time to send a card or letter showing you value your relationship with them. You can even point out the new features of the home that you know they’re excited about. For example, if the house has a great kitchen or backyard, you can comment on those things and how they’ll enhance the everyday living of their new home. A personal touch in this situation will make them feel like you’re really happy for their success.

Clients are more likely to recommend your services if they feel confident that they are dealing with professionals who go above and beyond for everyone involved in the transaction process. By adding a personal touch to the sales process, you can make a memorable event even more special.

A check-in after the sale

Although a handwritten thank-you note can certainly be sent after an agreement to sell is made, you can also send one at closing when all of the paperwork is complete. This will help ensure that your buyers have positive memories of their experience with you and feel like their needs were met at every step in the process.

One of the biggest advantages of handwritten notes is that they are effective anytime after a home has been sold. Once your customer has completed the sale and is ready to move in, this is one of the most important times to reach out.

Of course, a handwritten note can make the gesture even more memorable, as a personal touch makes the recipient feel like you took the effort to write and send a note.  We know a little something about that.

Thank them for a referral

The time and energy required to be a successful realtor can often make it difficult for one person to juggle everything.  Unfortunately, the important process of finding new clients can take a back seat. So when someone refers a client your way, you will want to thank them with an appropriate gesture. A handwritten note is thoughtful and shows that you appreciate their recommendation enough to take the time out of your day to send a personalized message.

Real estate agents should send thank-you notes and cards as a highly personal way of saying “thank you” when people refer someone who becomes their client. A thank you is particularly important for a referral, as you are the one who benefits – not them. Sending thank-you notes can make a big difference in the long run, especially when you consider it’s just one more way to make an impression.

In a competitive service industry like real estate, following up after an open house or initial meeting with a handwritten note is important.  It’s a great way to remind clients of the service you provided, even if that service just a coffee.  Personalizing touchpoints throughout the sales process is a great way to make yourself memorable in your clients’ minds.

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Six Things to Avoid in a Handwritten Thank You Note

When you receive a handwritten thank-you note from someone, it’s one of the most thoughtful gestures that person could make. It shows that they took time out of their day to write something just for you. The same goes for your clients.

Writing a handwritten thank-you note to clients is a great way to show them how much they mean to your business or organization while creating a deeper personal connection.  Unfortunately, many small business owners often don’t write thank-you notes or cards. Yet studies show that we often underestimate the value of personalized thank-you letters because they aren’t sure where to start or what to include. Our take: it’s a powerful tool you should be using.

If you want to add a personal touch to your business, a handwritten card is a great way to do it.  That being said, there are some things that should be avoided when composing one of these notes. Here are six major pitfalls to avoid when crafting a handwritten thank-you letter.

1. Don’t send a generic thank you

If you decide to send a handwritten note to a client, make sure it’s personalized. Generic messages are impersonal and show that you didn’t take time out of your day to create something for your customer specifically.

It’s easy to personalize a letter if you’re using Contact Relationship Management (CRM) software and even easier with some creativity. Even without using a CRM or spreadsheet program, take time to introduce your customers by name when expressing gratitude for their patronage: they’ll appreciate it! And never forget that spelling is important–accuracy will help maintain trust and avoid offence in this fast-paced world.

2. Don’t be too formal

The thank-you letter is a great way to express gratitude for the time and money donors, customers, or supporters have given. Your message must be both warm and sincere, which can mean different things depending on who the recipient might be. The tone of voice that you use in your note should be friendly and personal.

Keep in mind a friendly tone of voice helps make sure people don’t stop reading after just one sentence, too.  So think about what a note would sound like if it came from an old friend instead of some corporation when crafting yours.

Depending on the culture of your organization, you may have a standard way to address a customer or donor.  Some say “Mr.” or “Ms.” while others may call them by their first name. Avoid guessing at the best title for them – only use one that has been specifically stated in advance.  You can’t go wrong with using their first name.

3. Don’t wait too long

When sending a thank-you note, it’s best not to wait so long that your customer forgets having done the thing you’re thanking them for. The slower they receive a response, the more likely they’ll forget the details of the interaction. That’s why follow-ups can’t be delayed for too long.

It’s going to take some time for your note to get finished, stamped and mailed – it’s not called “snail mail” for nothing!  So send a letter to your customer thanking them for their business as soon as you can after the transaction.

4. Don’t hide your company’s personality – or yours

It’s important to be yourself when communicating, not just because it can help you come across as more genuine, but also so the other person knows they are communicating with a real person.

Consider what your company or non-profit is about and how you would want to articulate to a customer or client for them to understand you and your company or organization better at an emotional level.

Don’t forget to include hints of your company’s personality!

And make sure to showcase your own personality, too. You’re a unique individual – don’t ever be afraid of letting that show.  Don’t forget it’s one-on-one communication, so the recipient will likely appreciate hearing from you at an authentic level rather than just another generic message sent out by any small business or organization communicating with a sea of customers.

5. Don’t ask for anything in your thank you note

Don’t ask for anything in your thank-you letter. A thank-you note’s only role is outreach: to make the customer or donor feel good and provide sincere thanks. Full stop.

Though it might be tempting to include a new piece of information – such as telling them about another service or selling some tickets to an upcoming event – don’t do that.  If you do, then your gratitude will not seem genuine, which could leave them feeling unappreciated instead of valuing your gesture of thanking them.

6. Avoid talking about your company or your goals

Similar to the last point, a thank you note should be used only to say thanks. It’s not the time for touting your company’s accomplishments or goals; it’s a chance to express gratitude and recognize a customer’s contribution to your success.

This is, however, the perfect time to be thoughtful in your thank-you note. Make it all about them, not you. Take some time and put yourself into their shoes, remembering that they could have taken their business somewhere else: they deserve a little appreciation!

Thank-You Notes Are A Powerful Tool

The right way to say thanks after doing business together might not always come naturally or easily. But once it becomes a regular part of your business operations, you’ll find it is an effort worth doing.  It’s an opportunity to say thanks and let your donors, customers or supporters know how much they are appreciated.

Lizzie Post, the great-great-granddaughter of the etiquette guru Emily Post, highlights the power of a personal note: “There’s something very lovely about the personal, physical touch of someone’s handwriting on an actual piece of paper that arrives at your door.”

The first step is deciding to send a handwritten thank-you letter to build relationships with your valued contacts. Using these rules, you will ensure that the message in that letter or note has a big and lasting impact on the recipient.

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