New Donors Need to be Welcomed

What do you do when a new donor joins the ranks?

If you’re not acknowledging and welcoming new donors, you’re doing it wrong.

Donors, as I’ve said many times, are not ATMs. They deserve to be treated better than that, and the best time to start doing that is when the join the ranks.

You can’t just use a first receipt as a way to acknowledge a new donor, you should be doing a receipt then the Welcome Package.

You need to give them more information; you should be using a Welcome Pack. These are a great way to new donors feel welcome and to provide more information about the organisation, more information on ways they can be part of the donor family.

The idea behind a Welcome Pack is to begin a relationship between the donor and your organisation.

If you say you don’t then you are missing out.

You should be sending out your Welcome Package soon after the reciept for the first donation, not with the receipt.

Your Welcome Pack could contain more indepth information about your organisation, the people, the work, the beneficiaries. It and offer other ways the donor can get involved and, it should reinforce the benefits to the donor of supporting you.

Perhaps adding a couple of brochures outlining the work and benecificaries of your organisation, if you do a regular newsletter, include a couple of the most recent issues. Perhaps somethingon payroll giving or bequests could be included to.

But do make sure what you offer in the Welcome Pack doesn’t come across as though you’re trying to be pushy. These people have just joined, you don’t want to lose them.

Have a few people from your organisation sit down and work through what would be good to include in your Welcome Pack, and there’s no reason why you couldn’t ask a couple of donors to also have some input.

Lastly, do not, do not, use or see your Welcome Pack as another fundraising appeal. It is a thank you, a way for you to show your appreciation for having the donor on board and to give some added information.

What do you do when a new donor joins your family?

Recognise Regular Donors

Your regular donors generate your regular passive income, don’t ignore them and the contribution they are making to the success of your organisation.

Praise, praise, praise … it may sound trite but it is the best thing you can do to help retrain and recognise the importance of donors in your regular giving programme.

That’s not to say that they are better or more important the your one-off donors, it’s simply to recognise the importance they have in allowing your to manage the work you do, knowing that there is regular income that allows you to do what you do.

When communicating with regular donors; ask for feedback, feedback about who, why and how they give through the regular giving.  These can be used to help entice others to your programme.

Regular givers should be segmented in your database to allow for specific updates to be sent to this group.

Some organisations develop donor reports specifically for regular donors, and hold events for regular givers to give them the opportunity to invite others who may be interested in joining your regular giving programme (think Tupperware without the commission).

Remember that you should also bear in mind that, although any donor can be converted to a regular giving programme, you should never stop asking anyone for a one-off donations. Even though you’re receiving a regular contribution from your regular donors, this group are known to give more when asked for a one-off contribution to something specific.

Regular giving programmes can help with increasing donor contributions and can help to reactivate delinquent donors.

When talking with regular givers, make it personal, using this style of communication can help not only retain donors, but can also help reactivate those who have stopped giving.

Often the simple messages of how important regular giving is to help maintain the work carried out, who is benefiting from regular giving, and that regular giving allows work to be carried out with reduced administration and fundraising costs can too help regain donors.

Some organisations make a point of restating regular giving levels to help retain and regain donors, perhaps a donor who offered $50 per month has had a change in their personal circumstances, but by suggesting a lower level they will come back on board, what have you got to lose by asking for less when they’ve stopped giving altogether.

All donor communications are important, just because someone has said they will give on a basis doesn’t mean they don’t want to hear from you – perhaps they may even need to hear from you more often.  But, don’t make your communications too frequently – this could be a turn off.

How are you communicating with your regular donors?

Could you be communicating with regular donors more frequently or change your message?

Are you a regular giver through a regular giving programme – if so, what is your experience?

Regular Giving

Shops, restaurants, cafes all have customer loyalty programmes – why, because they (loyalty programmes) encourage regular patronage.

Charities should be embracing regular giving, why, because it cost effective, easy to manage for donor and charity, help with financial forecasting.

More typically, people have recall of larger organisation who have regular giving programmes, think World Vision, UNICEF, Save the Children; but in reality any organisation no matter its size can run a regular giving programme.

Don’t just set up a regular giving programme, you still need to plan how you will run it, the communications that will tie into it, how you will allow giving to be made; it’s no different to planning anything else.

Some thing to consider:

1.     Who will you invite

Not everyone in your database is suited to regular giving, some organisation prefer to use regular giving to reignite ‘dormant’, ‘delinquent’ donors.

However, it is a lot easier and gain regular giving pledges from supporters who give regularly.

Look at your donors who make their donation by credit card first, they’re more likely to take it up. But, don’t forget those who give by cheque, they can still be enticed to join your regular giving programm

2.    Make it easy

Promote your regular giving programme at every opportunity.

Have a prominent link on your website, talk about your regular giving programme in donor updates, invite donors to join your programme through messages on receipts and in annual updates.

3.    Have a clear message

Why would people want to sign up to your regular giving programme?

Give a clear message as to the benefits of regular giving, the donors and your organisation.

The simple message to donors is that it makes it easier for them to give.

Be upfront and let donors know that regular giving makes for easier financial management and that it helps reduce administration and fundraising costs.

Don’t forget to make sure your regular donors are being giving regular updates as to how they are helping.

4.    Points to consider

  • When will be the best time to receive regular giving pledges?
  • How can regular giving pledges be made?
  • Communicating, how will you communicate with those in your regular giving programme?
  • Receipts; will these be sent for each donation or will you have the ability to send an annual receipt?


Do you have a regular giving programme, what are the benefits you are seeing from it?

Is regular giving helping with donor retention?

Are you part of a regular giving programme with the organisations you support?