As a charity, communication is a vital source of income, from retaining regular contributors to acquiring new support. But how much is the right amount?
Many charities gain support and think that their work is done. However, these people aren’t necessarily going to be supporting your charity for life, so regular contact is important to build trust and acquire loyal supporters that give regular contributions.
Although regular communication may take time and resources, the benefits definitely make it worth it….
Benefits of Keeping in Touch with Your Supporters
1. Secure Loyal Supporters
Building a relationship with your most passionate and regular supporters is key to any charity as these contributions will make up a big portion of your income. Ultimately, you’d like to make this as consistent as possible!
You need to be keeping in touch with your current supporters as they need (and love) to know how their money is being spent. Inform them of your success, how much of a difference their money has made, thank them and reassure them that you are only able to do what you do because of them. By engaging your supporters and providing them with regular updates, you will start to build trust and with it, loyal support.
Plus, with the information you’ve provided, they can then go on to help promote you on social media and influence others to support you and do the same! Win-win!
2. Gain New Supporters
Another way that charities can raise more funds is by communicating with new potential supporters. Only by regular contact will you then build trust with these people and hopefully turn them into loyal supporters too.
The best way to gain new support is by using a strong marketing strategy. Use all the funnels that are available to you (print, email marketing and social media) and test what works best. Just make sure to make clear ‘call-to-actions’ on all of your marketing material, whether that’s getting people to ring you or go to your website to donate, or to sign up to your email list. You can then use the information you’ve got for people to keep communicating with them until they are ready to support you.
3. Brand Exposure
Communicating with your current supporters and using your marketing funnels to contact new ones, whatever methods you are using, are all getting your brand and message out there.
Soon you will be getting more followers and engagement, which will lead to supporters, and then they will share and distribute your message and it all comes around full circle. Never before has it been easier to get information out there and be seen, just make sure that you’re doing it in the right way.
4. Build a Strong Online Presence
By building a strong online presence, you are making sure that your brand and message are getting consistent exposure. It’s all well and good something going viral or a print campaign having a good response, but it is this level of activity that you should be striving for all the time.
Again, communication is key. Make sure that all of your social media posts and print marketing materials are directing people to your website or ways to donate. This should generate constant traffic to your website, allowing people to find out what you do and how they can help. If you are doing this from your social activity as well as producing valuable content which is rich in key words, you will keep building your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) which will help more people find you from searching for these keywords via Google.
How Often You Should Keep in Touch with Your Supporters
Monthly – Email marketing should be done monthly. This is regularly enough that you can inform your current supporters and sponsors of what has been happening and how to keep helping, without being overkill and getting unsubscribes. You should, however, have a separate email for new supporters. This email will be worded slightly different to try and encourage people to start supporting you, such as promoting all the work you have done because of donations.
Daily / Weekly – Social marketing should be done as regularly as possible, with both twitter and Facebook recommended daily. Experiment with other funnels as there may be one area in your market where you can generate traffic. Try weekly first and increase it as you get more engagement.
When Campaigning – Print marketing is great when you need to get a new service or message out there, so obviously you can do this as often you want. The important thing is to have all these marketing funnels working together so you’re communicating with every audience.
So, you’re communicating with your supporters regularly and with that, they are communicating back. This two-way communication is vital for charities as you can learn straight from the source what is working, what is not and what supporters are most interested in. Only then can you swiftly gain new followers, build loyal support and engagement, and get your message out there!