A Donor-Centric Culture Develops Loyal, Long-term Supporters

Misty Marquam

Are You Giving Your Donors What They Want?

One vital aspect setting the fundraising specialists at Marquam Auction Agency apart – we’re donor-centric. We identify who your audience is and what they want – then we cater to that at our live events.

Truth: cultivate a community of happy donors and you’ll enjoy their loyal support time and time again. This is different from donor development as we assume that you’ve already implemented our best practices to develop your core base of donors.


So how do you please your supporters AND keep them coming back?

Spend as much time and energy asking your donors what they would like as you do grooming them for their support. Have you considered polling attendees after events? Try it! You’ll gain invaluable information and find out what they loved about the event, what they didn’t and what they’re indifferent about. If you don’t know, you are likely losing supporters because they do not feel like you care about their needs, desires or preferences.

Having spent years pouring over thousands of guests’ responses to such questions, we’ve noted a few trends. Here are the top five donor complaints – EVERY time.

1. Guests detest standing in line.

Any line, at any time, but especially at registration, bars and check-out. So avoid lines altogether by implementing best practice strategies to minimize them.

2. Attendees will pass on long, boring speeches. 

Think ten minutes of thank you’s, the runaway sponsor who goes off-script and on a tangent, etc. Eliminate these things from your line-up and utilize methods of crafting only relevant, engaging and succinct program content that your professional benefit auctioneer will deliver with zest and charm.

3. Less is more! Keep live events short + sweet.

Leave your crowd wanting more. Donors do not want to commit a half day to any event. In fact, most are looking forward to getting home, taking off their uncomfortable shoes and putting their feet up. Typically, we recommend 60-90 minutes for cocktail hour and silent auction (if offered), a speedy transition to the meal, and no longer than 90 minutes of live programming. About three hours of formal programming followed by some sort of fun or entertainment on the back end is ideal.

4. Use technology to enhance everything. 

Consider using event software that will allow guests to pre-register right from their smartphones – no lines! Have adequate WiFi to support registration staff AND your guests, as well as mobile bidding for demographics who might enjoy it during the silent auction, if offered.

Audio visual aids during the live program enhance audience comprehension. Consider using beautifully edited videos to tell mission stories succinctly. Use colorful, eye-catching images to support your speakers’ messages during live programming. Finally, look into using technology to expedite check-out.

5. Give folks a seat! 

Attendees never want to stand during a live program or while fundraising. Period.

It’s easy to give your donors precisely what they want. You simply have to know what exactly that is. Then deliver. We promise you’ll be amazed at how your crowd responds to these simple strategies to please them. The bottom line: happy donors give more money!

Want more tips on keeping your donors seriously satisfied and perpetually on your side? Contact us today. We are happy to help and have loads of great techniques to do just that. We can’t wait to work with you!

 

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