Communicating with donors is a tricky thing — you don’t want to reach out to them too much and be spammy, but you also don’t want to be too quiet and risk them forgetting all about you.
Reaching out to your donors every once in a while should always be part of your organization’s to-do list, but how often is that exactly?
General Rule of Thumb: How Often You Should Be Communicating With Your Donors
A good rule of thumb is to communicate with your donors at least once every 30 days. Studies have shown that this is the sweet spot for donor retention and cultivation.
A month is neither too long nor short and is the perfect frequency to remind your donors about your organization and cause without being too repetitive and overbearing.
3 Things That Affect How Often You Should Communicate With Donors
While monthly correspondence has been proven effective, it’s not a rock-solid rule that you should always stick to. How often you communicate with your donors can also depend on various factors.
Of course, your budget plays a role in the frequency of your donor communications. You need to consider what your organization can afford. Do you have the funds to send out gifts or “thank you” emails every so often? Or are online communications more affordable for you?
Find the right platform and frequency that aligns well with your organization’s budget. The are email marketing tools you can use to reach out to your donors at affordable prices, such as MailChimp or Campaign Monitor. These tools even allow you to schedule when your emails should be sent out.
Next, ask yourself why you’re reaching out to your donors. The purpose and context of your message will determine the frequency of emails or letters.
For example, if you’re reaching out to a donor to express your gratitude for their donation or inform them about their names being added to your donor wall, one email will suffice. If you’re following up on a donation promise for an upcoming campaign, you should limit your messages so you don’t end up pressuring your donor to hand over their money.
Otherwise, if you’re sending an update about your organization or introducing a new project of yours, you can get away with two to three emails a month.
See, different purposes come with different frequencies. It’s recommended that you segment your donor list so that you can reach out to the right donors for the right purpose and at the right frequency.
How you communicate with your donors also plays a role in how often they should be receiving messages from you. If your primary mode of communication is email, you may have more liberty to communicate with them more often.
However, if you usually communicate via voice call, you don’t want to be ringing your donors more often than needed. Phone calls have a bad rep, and especially if your donors are busy people, frequent phone calls might irritate them and cause them to lose their motivation to support your organization.
Build Lasting Relationships With Your Donors
More important than the frequency of your communications is the effort to build actual relationships with your donors. It’s counterproductive to be sending your donors emails or letters that don’t provide value.
Always make sure that the messages you send out are high-quality and are geared towards strengthening your connection with your donors. That way, you are fostering a good relationship that will motivate them to keep supporting your cause through every email, letter, or message you send.