It's not all about how clever you are in your fundraising. It's also about how you make your donors feel in all the ways you connect with them.
The (small) community of non-stupid businesses are figuring this out in the commercial context, and the Return Customer blog is talking to them in 10 Tricks Customers Hate and 10 Treats They Love. Here are the "treats":
- Show the Customer some empathy
- Share a deal or discount with customers
- Do something for customers instead of just telling them what to do
- Do more than the customer expects
- Be proactive in your customer service
- Make a personal connection with your customer
- Remind customers of the benefits you've provided
- Reassure customers when big changes are happening
- Respect your customers' time
- Explain the details to your customers
(You'll have to go see the "tricks" yourself.)
As a nonprofit, your capacity to inflict pain on your donors is much less than that of some companies (think airlines, insurance companies, cell phone companies).
But these acts of kindness (aimed to make commercial relationships nicer) can make you stand out in a donor's mind. It's little things that can make life a little easier and more pleasant for your donors. Be human. Go out of your way to do something helpful. Just being empathetic and kind will be like a fresh breeze out of nowhere for your donors.