Why do your donors choose to support you? What is it that sets your organization apart from others?
The answers to these questions can provide valuable insight to enhance your understanding of your donor base, which can help you develop personalized communications and increase donor retention, revenue, and donor Lifetime Value.
So, how do you collect this information? You listen to your donors!
Your members and donors are speaking to you with every gift. How much they give, when they give, how often they give: all of this is valuable information and makes up the foundation of membership and annual giving programs. But you can learn more if you give your donors the opportunity.
This is where Gift Designation (or restrictive giving) comes in. Allowing donors to designate their donation will enable them to share their interests and what aspect of your organization is important to them – what they value. It helps you to understand why they support your organization.
It also provides direct feedback to the donors. As donors designate their donation, they know how your organization will use their gift. There is an instant feeling of accomplishment on the donors’ part because they are helping in a way that is important to them. They have personally accomplished something good, while you have learned what motivated them to give!
It’s a win-win.
Because this is restrictive giving, you must be mindful of how you provide the giving options and to whom. Too many can be overwhelming to the donors (not to mention a headache for gift processing and your finance department). And annual donors need to support your organization with unrestricted gifts.
However, it allows you to gain information to help develop communications and identify donors you can go to for any special funding needs based on their direct interests, which is perfect for moving donors up the pipeline.
Gift Designation can be an essential technique for Mid-Level giving because it allows you to leverage all the needs of your organization to further develop the relationship with these donors who are ready to make a deeper investment into your organization. I cannot stress enough the feeling of personal accomplishment and the direct impact the donors can experience. It can help increase the amount of their donation because you are homing in on the “why” they give. It is now getting very personal.
For Mid-Level donors, the ability to identify their interests also provides the base upon which to move them up into even higher giving levels and into the Major donor level. It gives you a direct line of communication to increase their financial support because you already know why they support your organization.
Gift Designation is not just for Mid-Level and Major Giving. It can be an important tool to understand your donor base better. It can help build communications to deepen the donor relationship. It lets you listen to what your donors and members are telling you.