The Mikuska Group  

Engagement: Beyond the Newsletter

Fundraisers know it takes more effort to attract new donors than to retain current donors, yet many organizations devote insufficient time to engaging their donors and creating sustainable relationships. It’s not just about sending newsletters and thank you letters, it’s about bringing donors at all levels closer to your organization.

Myths about engagement:

  • I don’t have time for engagement, I’m too busy fundraising.
  • Engagement is for the development officer, right?
  • We need dollars now, not after engaging a donor for a year or more.

Truths about engagement:

  • Organizations don’t have relationships, people do.
  • The more invested a donor feels in your organization, the better the relationship.
  • Donors want to feel like they’re making a difference, and you can help them feel they are.
  • It’s not only about communicating out, it’s also about inviting communication in.

What does engagment look like?

  • Pervasive throughout the organization – everyone takes responsibility.
  • Sincere and welcoming.
  • Open and transparent.
  • Active and personal.
  • Involvement by donors to varying degrees.
  • Involvement deepens over time.
  • Engaged donors will tell their family, friends and networks.
  • Engaged donors will more likely consider larger gifts and planned gifts.

So how can you build a culture of engagement in your organization?

Julie Mikuska


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