Turn donors into real brand loyalists

In commercial marketing, one of the things everyone wants it lots and lots of “brand loyalists.” That’s people who just love whatever it is you sell, talk about it all the time, try to get their friends on board, and generally do your marketing work for you.


Some nonprofits have brand loyalists. Having more would be better.


The Social Business blog takes a look at getting regular customers to cross the line to brand loyalists at How to build an army of brand loyalists.


Here are their steps, along with my thoughts for how it might play out for nonprofits:



  1. Add value first. Do something really cool and unusual for donors. Tell them out of the blue that their gift was multiplied by matching funds — after the fact. Send them congratulations for making the world better. Just surprise them.
  2. Listen. Find ways to talk to them and get them to tell you what they want out of their relationship with you.
  3. Create a culture of responsibility. Make sure everyone in your organization who has anything to do with donors (and everyone else, while you’re at it) owns the job of treating donors well.
  4. Make a human connection. Do something other than mass marketing to them. Call. Email. Send a card. Just be human.
  5. Promote your customers. Put your donors in your newsletter and on your website. Treat them like the heroes they are.

Give these things a try. It’s a great way to really get donors on your team.


Thanks to @simonmainwaring for the tip.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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