Feb 5, 2021

Show Your Donor Love This Valentine's Day

Roses are red, violets are blue… and your supporter needs some love, too! Show your donor love this Valentine’s Day with these five easy-to-implement, fun, and effective ideas.

Keep reading to learn: 

  • How donor appreciation builds donor stewardship
  • Who to send some donor love to
  • 5 different ways to show donor care

Calling All Cupids

We don’t need to explain the importance of donor stewardship to you—you know this is a crucial part of any fundraising strategy to build donor retention and raise more money! Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to reach out for no other reason but to say “we appreciate you!” 

Who should get a Valentine? Ideally, all of your constituents should receive donor communication on Cupid’s Day. Treat every supporter like a major donor. If you're short on time, prioritize segmenting groups. These might include active donors, board members, volunteers, or partners—those who are most involved in your organization.

If you’re looking for some donor love irresistible communication inspiration, check out these heart-eye worthy ideas.

1. Send A Valentine’s Day Card

In classic Valentine’s Day fashion, mail a Valentine's Day card from your organization. However, it’s more effective to send from an individual to make it personal. Targeting customers on a 1:1 level increases response rates up to 50% or more. Instead, send a card from a board member, executive director, or client served by your organization thanks to their support.

If you’re on the fence about sending a Valentine’s Day card, consider: 

  • Direct mail response rate to houses is 9% (compared to 1% email, 1% paid search, .3% online display, 1% social media).
  • On average, Americans receive 605 emails and 16.8 pieces of mail every week.
  • For every 36 emails you receive, you get 1 piece of mail in your mailbox on average.
  • The average lifespan of an email is 17 seconds, whereas direct mail’s average lifespan is 17 days.

Don’t be afraid to go big, either. At 6.6%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household response rates over other mediums (followed by postcards at 5.7% and letter-sized envelopes at 4.3%). Be sure to remind donors of the good work they’ve accomplished for your organization.

2. Host a Love-a-Thon With Your Team

Have your nonprofit organization’s team members and board members all come together to call donors to show some appreciation. A “Love-a-Thon” is way easier than having one person individually call each donor. Plus, it’s more fun! If you can’t safely do this in-person right now, set up a Zoom meeting where every caller is muted. That way, you can see each other and still feel like you’re “in it together.” All you need to do to prepare is have a caller list and script emailed to every staff member, volunteer, or board member.

3. Send Love Straight To Their Inbox

Send a virtual Valentine’s message to make your donors feel the love. Customized, of course, for the special occasion. Boost click-through rates by including a personal Valentine video made by your team. An email including a video can increase your email click-through rate by up to 300%! Check out this simple one from charity: water.

4. Spontaneous “Love Ya!” Messages

Everyone loves a “just thinking about how much I appreciate you” message out of the blue. Especially on Valentine’s! Research shows that SMS open rates are as high as 98%. Surprise and delight your donors with a simple ‘thinking of you” text message this Valentine’s Day. Don’t forget, the donor is the hero of the message with an amazing and inspiring story of success.

5. Help Supporters Spread The Love

This one takes a bit more effort and time to prepare, but it can create a memorable experience for everyone! Instead of asking supporters to help you fulfill a need this Valentine’s Day, help them fulfill their needs. Look at things from their point of view. For example, instead of asking supporters to donate to a specific project or cause, offer gift baskets, experiences, or naming opportunities in exchange for their donation. If you have enough time, you may want to send a donor survey to see what sorts of things they might be most interested in.

We love this idea from Bronx Zoo. Cockroaches may not fit your nonprofit, but this campaign is definitely worth checking out! 

Conclusion 

Show your donors love this Valentine’s Day to send a clear message: you appreciate them! They need that reassurance that you see them, are thankful for them and that they belong to your community of supporters. At Givecloud, we founded the Trustraising blog on the idea that all great relationships—especially donor relationships—are based on trust. Subscribe now, so you never have to miss another blog or opportunity to build trust with supporters.