Some nonprofit organizers make the mistake of believing that their work with donors is done once they have received donations, but in truth, the work of fostering relationships with and connecting with donors is never complete. The first donation should be the first of many, and if you have put in the time and effort to cultivating close relationships with your donors, this will happen naturally.
One of the best ways to create relationships with donors and to keep them interested in your organization is by regularly keeping in contact, and the easiest way to do this is through an e-newsletter. E-newsletters can be sent via email or text, and can be displayed on your website for visitors to peruse. The newsletter format helps to keep donors informed of the goings-on of your organization, and acts as a gentle reminder that you are still out there and doing work that needs to be funded.
Sending donors and supporters of your organization regular information regarding your nonprofit’s progress and work is also a good way to build trust, since your e-newsletter is the perfect place to demonstrate good stewardship.
What To Include In Your Newsletter
Whether you have written hundreds of newsletters, or are reading this as your first step to creating an e-newsletter for your nonprofit, the most important thing to remember is to include only information and stories your donors would be interested in. Magazines curate articles and content based on what their readers are interested in, which is why you don’t see much fashion in Bassmaster and you don’t often find mention of river safety in US Weekly.
Like entertainment publications, you should be sticking to the content your donors want to see, like success stories from people, organizations, or communities that have benefited from your work. Donors like to see the impact of their donations, and including success stories in your e-newsletters is a great way to do just that.
Other content that can help you to build your donor network and keep individuals engaged could include information on upcoming events, project and program updates, information on relevant news and current events, and information on how donors can volunteer, donate, and help.
Many people wonder if they could afford to hire a nonprofit performance consultant. Our answer is simple in many cases: you can't. Do you want to be the best leader possible? Do you want to spend all of your energy working toward you mission? Would you like to improve in areas where you feel you face more challenges? These are all good reasons to hire a consultant.
Rates and fees vary greatly among consultants locally and nationwide. Some consultants charge by the hour or provide a flat rate based on the project. There's no easy answer because the range is so broad -- some may charge $15/hr, while others charge $250/hr. Some may charge you $100 for a task that someone else will charge $2,000 for. Typically, more experienced and seasoned professionals are going to charge more for their expertise -- but then again, sometimes they do not. Also some people work faster and produce better results than others. Would you rather pay $500 for something that takes one consultant a month to do with loads of editing and feedback required from you to complete? Or would you rather spend $2,500 to get something delivered within a week, error free? It really all depends on what you're looking for and what you're willing to spend.
How does Blackbird Philanthropy Advisors determine rates?
It's really hard for us to give you an estimate of how much a project will cost until we dive deeper into the details. We know that's not exactly the answer you're looking for but it's an honest one. Generally, a "one-off" short term project that involves highly skilled work on a very temporary, short-term basis (1 hour to 2 weeks) will cost a little more than an agreement where there is an ongoing, retainer-based relationship with guaranteed work over a longer period of time or for a larger project. If you hired Blackbird to completely manage, plan, and organize all aspects of an entire special event -- this would be charged as a flat fee rate on a payment structure that works for both parties. If you're looking to hire Blackbird for a short term project, you might end up having an agreement where our services are charged by the hour. Long story short, there's no one size fits all plan.
Some things you'll want to knock out of the way before you hire a team to pitch in at your organization:
Blackbird Philanthropy Advisors is a social enterprise devoted to Driving impactful and innovative change through philanthropy. Based in South Bend, Indiana, USA.