You may complain regularly that your database is deficient, inaccurate, or misused (or all three!). And because of your database shortcomings, you may get frustrated that you cannot consistently use it to improve and enhance your donor identification, solicitation, and stewardship.
Here, though, is a database stewardship and solicitation strategy that all institutions can use – starting today – regardless of how robust or accurate your data might be.
Send your donors an anniversary card.
Not a card for their wedding anniversary – because if you are concerned about your database, my guess is that you don’t have that data for many of your donors. I’m talking about sending your donors a card on the anniversary of their first gift to your institution. Show them that you recognize when they gave their first gift and are grateful for them and their support.
Perhaps you did a database conversation 12 years ago and the data beyond that point is compromised. You may not know everyone’s first gift date. Ok, that’s understandable. But, you know a whole lot of first gift dates and starting now to recognize those donors is a wonderful touch.
Donors desire to be recognized. Not always publicly, of course. But they want to know that they are of value to your institution. That they are important to you and to your successes. Sending them a thoughtful card on their gift anniversary is a strategy that communicates, “you matter and we are grateful for you.”