I’ve been trying to update and correct information in our database. It’s a chore. I’m going through everything line by line, gift by gift.
I realize one thing as I work, though. While I’ve only been at my organization for a year, so many of the names I see are familiar.
It happens when you’ve worked in fundraising for a while in one place – particularly a smaller city. There are names that are very recognizable. And not because they’re the donors everyone is chasing.
I’m talking about the smaller donors who make up the backbone of the community. Their $50 and $25 and $10 gifts don’t jump out at you at first. They certainly don’t get much public attention or many accolades. But there they are, at organization after organization, year after year.
They tend to be very loyal. And very regular – sometimes giving every year at the same time, to the day. As donors, they don’t ask for much. They rarely complain. They don’t give for public recognition or perks. They just quietly make their gifts, over and over again.
We couldn’t do without them.
That’s why I love programs that recognize loyalty as much as gift size. These wonderful people expect so little that they’re completely delighted when they are recognized. It takes so little effort to make them feel important.
Start a loyalty program. Recognize them in your annual report. Send them a special thank you – just because. Build in a special event or two just for your long-time donors. They deserve to feel special. And I promise that you’ll love meeting them.
They do so much for our communities. Why don’t we do more to recognize their contributions?