Are you really saving money?

July 9, 2012
Budgets are tight.  Expenses are under the microscope. And your stewardship communications are an easy target. 
E-mail acknowledgements vs. print acknowledgements… your member magazine or annual report or special postcard or thank you phone call…. Do they really matter?
In fact, they do.  
Your year-round donor communications keep people connected, and keep your retention rates high.  More renewed donors means a lower cost of fundraising. And that equals more growth and more net revenue to support your cause. 
When you eliminate the few dollars you spend on each donor today, you might help get your organization through its budget cycle.  But it may well result in having fewer donors next year, at a far greater cost of replacing those missing donors who place their dollars with an organization they feel more connected to.
You can still help.
  • Streamline your efforts towards communications that make the largest difference to your supporters, and ultimately to your bottom line.
  • Find efficiencies in production, process or size that can save money while still delivering an effective communication.
  • Focus your message.  Don’t waste a single opportunity by being off target. 
  • Serve multiple purposes with each communication. In your acknowledgements, tell people how to make a matching gift or donate their car or find your e-newsletter. In your publications, share information about making planned gifts or attending events.
There are all sorts of creative ways to communicate with your donors that won’t break the bank.  But the most important thing is to keep them connected. Remind them that your organization matters. And make sure they know how much they’re appreciated.
The more ways you can do that before you ask them to renew their support, the better off your organization will be.