Everyone in the nonprofit world knows this rule.
But not everyone remembers the other side of this rule: 20% of your donations come from 80% of your donors.
It’s easy, even tempting, to overlook these 80% because they don’t donate as much as major donors. After all, there are only so many hours in the day, your time is better spent tending to your major donors, right?
Does this group’s lower capacity to give make them less worthy of your time and attention?
Of course not!
I challenge all nonprofits to stop ignoring their minor donors.
Too often, minor donors feel marginalized and rejected by the nonprofits they support because they do not receive even a fraction of the recognition that major donors receive.
To create long-lasting donor relationships and increase donations, nonprofits must put more effort into recognizing their minor donors.
A great place to start is by creating giving societies for your long-term, minor donors. Start with donors who have been contributing $500 a year for twenty years or more.
**If your organization is small and $500 is considered a large gift, adjust that number down to fit your organization. Giving societies work for any donation level.
Recognize these donors at all of your special events, just like you would with your major donors and honorees. Include their names in your annual report. Thank them at every opportunity.
Giving your minor donors love in simple and easy ways costs your organization almost nothing and it means the world to your donors. After all, $500 a year over twenty years is not an insignificant amount of money for most people.
There are dozens of unique and creative ways to help this group feel vital and appreciated by your nonprofit so that they will continue giving for years to come.
Here are a few other ideas to try:
- Host a special event just for giving society members
- Send personalized thank you letters
- Hand out special name tags at major events to distinguish them from the crowd
- Interview them about why they care about your nonprofit and publish these interviews in your newsletter and on your website
- Record these interviews and release them over social media
- Use giving society members as speakers at your events
Encourage giving society members to recruit their friends to volunteer and donate to your organization. Harness their enthusiasm to increase your reach and build your donor rolls.
Minor donors who give year after year are vital to the longevity of many nonprofits. Don’t ignore the donations and volunteer hours contributed by this group. Creating a giving society for your nonprofit’s minor donors is a great first step towards maintaining a healthy relationship with your minor donors and encouraging others to start giving each year as well.
How does your nonprofit show appreciation for your minor donors? Let me know in the comments.