As with any relationship, if you value it, you maintain it. The grant request process can entail 6 to 12 months of courting: correspondence, visits, phone calls, and entertainment. When it’s over, both parties may suffer donor fatigue; however, if you have received a donation and would like to be considered to be a recipient in the future, it is your responsibility to let the donor know you appreciate their patronage. The higher the amount a donor has given, the more important it is to ensure you maintain your relationship.
Here are 6 ways to stay in touch with your donor, ensuring you stay in their minds for the next grant opportunity.
- Send thank you letters from the Executive Director, President and the Board of Directors – when the grant is awarded and when the project is complete.
- Mention all major donors in any of your current or future newsletters, publications, or media releases.
- Send or hand-deliver a personal invitation (not a generic letter addressed to all those involved) to celebrations or events spotlighting your funded project.
- Send or hand-deliver a personal invitation to any events specifically recognizing the donors.
- Provide the donor with a photograph, plaque, or other tribute of the project.
- Send the donor updates on the project, including success stories, copies of publicity, or anything that relates to the project.