Are You Communicating With Your Donors or Connecting?

Your organization takes steps to change the world every single day. Communications is certainly a part of that — from sharing information about special events to illustrating the impact of programs. But these communications activities alone don’t nurture loyal and engaged advocates to support your organization’s mission. That’s where connecting comes in.

The only way to develop a stable group of informed donors and supporters is by connecting with each on a personal level. This goes deeper than simply communicating information, and it’s an essential part of building a community rather than a contact list.

The difference between communicating and connecting in philanthropy

Human beings crave connections and need to belong. The key to harnessing that energy and translating it into donations and other forms of support is finding that emotional link to others by sharing our passions for a particular idea. Sharing that passion through personal, emotional storytelling causes people to want to learn more about the cause and find ways to come together to take action.

Communicating is often thought of as a one-way endeavor (though it isn’t anymore). In traditional models of communicating, one party delivers information to another who may passively consume that information or choose not to act on it. Connecting, on the other hand, is about using these small interactions to create an emotional, empathetic link. You can then build on these interactions by connecting members of your organization’s network of supporters and advocates with each other.

Connecting can change the game

Communicating may result in a few more names on a phone or email list but connecting helps you build a stable and supportive community that works together to promote your organization’s goals for change through philanthropy.

One of the most important parts of growing a community of passionate advocates is reaching out to new potential supporters or donors. Once you understand their point of view, emotions, and dreams for the future, you can make an emotional connection with each person individually.

Additionally, by providing experiences and platforms that allow these supporters to connect with one another and take action together, you are starting something that goes far beyond just a one-time donation. Together, this connected community can take action through a shared vision for a better future.

Learn more about digital strategies and tools to connect with donors. Download the Fundraisers’ Guide to Digital Media. 

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