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June 20, 2015

Enjoyable Engagement

Enjoyable Engagement

The time we spend outdoors in the summer sunlight can certainly be enjoyable—but it can also be beneficial to our health. UV rays help us synthesize Vitamin D, which is essential to bone health. Appropriate exposure to sunlight also helps us regulate our production of melatonin and serotonin, promoting healthy sleep cycles. Sunlight and fresh air are more than the background setting when we spend time outdoors; they are significant ingredients to our good health.

This summer, consider how donors feel about the time they spend engaged with your organization. Is the engagement experience both enjoyable and significant for them? Do they feel that their contributions are fully utilized and meaningfully celebrated?

Strive to make engagement enjoyable for all by taking a donor-centered approach. Here are 3 things donors have told us would make their engagement experiences more enjoyable, and more meaningful.

1. Emphasize What's Different

Emphasize What's Different

Doing things the same way they’ve always been done does not drive results. As one donor told us, truly transformative philanthropy is inspired by people who “color the grass yellow.” How can you embrace what makes you special and different? How can you invite donors to see that difference?
Personalize Communication

Personalize Communication

While donors’ preferences widely vary, it is not an overstatement to assert that donors do not enjoy receiving frequent mass communications pieces. One donor described a “blizzard of information,” and another said that she feels like these organizations want to “guilt [her] into making a gift.” When you send communications, make them personal and valuable. If you aren’t sure what kinds of communications donors enjoy receiving, ask them!
Invite Expertise

Invite Expertise

While building a trust-based relationship, you will learn many of a donor’s interests and passions. As you identify these, remember that you can make engagement more enjoyable by inviting donors to use their unique areas of expertise. Consider how different interests might translate into conversations with subject matter experts, fundraising events, or other enjoyable—and beneficial—engagement opportunities.

What would you add to this list? Please share your insights with us in the comments section below.

Looking for ways to make stewardship more enjoyable and meaningful? Click below to download the “Beyond Stewardship” infographic.

(2) Comments

Advancement Resources
on 06/23/15
We always love hearing new ideas for meaningfully engaging donors. Personalized, hand-written notes are so rare nowadays, and it sounds like your approach is rooted in an appreciation of each donor's individuality. Thanks for sharing!

Linda Gottfried, Director of Philanthropy MedStar
on 06/22/15
Since the topic is "enjoyable engagement" I will share a small thing that anyone can do. Every morning I look through the comics section of the newspaper (yes, the real paper kind) and look for comics that remind me of one of our donors. When one resonates, I clip the comic, tape it to an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and write a personal note. I then mail the comic to that person. It always prompts an email or a phone call, and certainly a slightly wider smile the next time I see him or her. :-)

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