PR Specialization PR Training

Sharpen Donor Communications: Speak Your Donors’ Language

If your head is spinning by reading and mentally answering these questions, let me help to ease your pain. You are not alone — and you will not be judged. Many nonprofit organizations are short-staffed and do not have the human and financial resources to focus on donor communications. However, a donor communication plan is indeed important and may, in fact, need to trump other activities that currently demand your time, money and energy

I have worked in both public relations and fundraising for many years, and I appreciate how closely linked these two professions are through shared objectives and skill sets, such as relationship building and communications. There are many of us who are comfortable in both worlds. For those who would like to be, many resources and colleagues are available to help at PRSA.

The first step is knowing how to answer the question “Why are public relations and fundraising important to nonprofit organizations?”

To nonprofit organizations throughout our country, donor communications may be the most important aspect of annual development plans. Without a strong donor communications plan, all of other efforts may be for naught.

These considerations lead to other questions, such as:

  • Why do your donors give? 
  • Which fundraising projects most resonate with your donors?
  • Which of your donor communications are effective and which fall short? 
  • Are you in regular communications with your donors?

If your head is spinning by reading and mentally answering these questions, let me help to ease your pain. You are not alone — and you will not be judged. Many nonprofit organizations are short-staffed and do not have the human and financial resources to focus on donor communications.

However, a donor communication plan is indeed important and may, in fact, need to trump other activities that currently demand your time, money and energy, which is why the PRSA 2010 Association/Nonprofit Seminar is so important. 

Linnie S. Carter, Ph.D., APR, president and CEOLinnie S. Carter, Ph.D., APR, president and CEO, Linnie Carter & Associates LLC, has more than 17 years of experience in public relations, marketing, communications and fundraising. From 2005 to 2009, she was the vice president of college advancement at Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) and executive director of the LFCC Educational Foundation Inc. Connect with Linnie on LinkedIn and on Twitter @linniecarter

Join PRSA at the 2010 Association/Nonprofit Seminar Program on March 25 in Washington, D.C.!

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